Third-quarter fundraising totals at or above $10 million:
Trump: $125 million
Sanders: 25.3 million
Warren: $24.6 million
Buttigieg: $19.1 million
Biden: $15.2 million
Harris: $11.6 million
Yang: $10 million
Average donation sizes for third quarter:
Trump: Conveniently not released. Was $48 in Q2.
On the Democratic side, with the notable exception of Andrew Yang, all of the average donation sizes were lower in the third quarter than in the second, which, combined with Trump more than doubling his fundraising in quarter three compared to quarter two, suggests that Trump is now clearly starting to monopolize high-dollar donors. He is the clear-cut candidate of the super-rich at this point. His $125 million third-quarter haul is nearly double Obama's for the same quarter in 2011 ($70 million). You'll notice they didn't bother to release an average contribution size this time. That suggests the Trump team believes it's now high enough that releasing that info would tend to be sufficiently alienating to small-dollar donors to discourage them from contributing in the future. His campaign uses the term "juggernaut" to describe his numbers. That's a very commercial term.
With corporate America rallying to Trump's side, the Democrats are being left increasingly financially dependent on everyday people, to which end the Democrats now faring best in fundraising are the ones who have most fully relied on a populist fundraising model from the outset: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Those Democratic candidates who have been more dependent on high-dollar donors (such as Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg), by contrast, fared worse in the third quarter than in the second, as those high-dollar donors they rely on moved more fully into the Trump column. What it all suggests is that rejecting high-dollar fundraisers is not only a viable option for the Democratic candidates, but actually the most practical one. Those Democrats relying on populist fundraising appear to have been the most foresighted, if anything.
There have been those who have questioned Elizabeth Warren's dedication to populist fundraising here on this thread. Here is what she had to say to reporters on the subject when pressed about how badly all the Democrats were being trounced by Trump and the Republicans in fundraising totals:
"So there's a fundamental question about how you think democracy works in America. If you think it's going to be all about scooping up a bunch of money from rich people, and then buying a bunch of TV ads, and that's how it is someone's going to win, then, yeah, it looks like Trump's doing a lot here and the Republicans. I just don't think that's how democracy works anymore, and I sure don't think that's how it's going to work in 2020."
That to me doesn't sound like someone who is planning on going a different route at any point in this campaign. That sounds like someone who has recognized the aforementioned reality -- the inevitable class polarization of fundraising models -- and is making a fundamental ideological case for her current style of fundraising versus that of Trump and the Republicans. It sounds to me like someone who has made up her mind about that.
Here are the current Real Clear Politics polling averages for the Democratic candidates from the last two weeks:
Out of the polls represented therein, the most recent one by Monmouth University is the most striking to me, as it's Warren's best national poll yet. It finds the following:
It also finds Warren to have the highest relative favorability rating (+2) of any candidate, Democratic or Republican, and President Trump the worst (-13); a fact that suggests a definite divergence between fundraising totals and actual popularity. Among the Democratic candidates, Sanders has the worst relative favorability rating (-6), according to this survey, although he has fared distinctly better in this metric in other surveys, it's worth adding. Point being that all the Democratic candidates are better-liked than the sitting president.
Last edited by Jaicee - on 05 October 2019