It appears that President Donald Trump so far has a significant fundraising advantage as compared to the crowded field of Democrats competing with one another to determine who will take on the president in 2020, CNN reports. Trump’s campaign reports $30 million raised in the first quarter of 2019, which is a sum that rivals the performance so far of the entire Democratic field combined.
As the president’s financial advantage widens, he now has a total of $40.8 million on hand according to Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s director of communications. Meanwhile, the Democrats are preparing for a competitive primary race which Trump will likely avoid on the Republican side. As of now, there are 18 Democrats vying for their party’s nomination.
As far as Democrats are concerned, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leads Democratic fundraising with $18.2 million raised, with California Senator Kamala Harris coming in second at $12 million. This is Sanders’ second run at the presidency, having previously come up short in the Democratic Primary against Hillary Clinton. In all, he reported about $28 million in the bank, leading among the Democrats.
“[Trump’s] strategy is to raise as much money as possible and to control the national conversation,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor of the nonpartisan political analysis site, Inside Elections. “I don’t think this presidential race is going to be decided by money…The president’s going to have plenty of money, and the Democratic nominee will have plenty of money.”
President Trump's re-election campaign has raised more than $30 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2019. Almost 99% of donations were $200 or less, the campaign says. https://t.co/CfyEiuMavF pic.twitter.com/YSdE2majqN
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 14, 2019
On the Democratic side, the story remains one of eventual consolidation. Fundraising totals have been predictably depressed by the simple nature of the crowded field. Many candidates are currently competing for their respective share of Democratic dollars. Presumably once the field narrows, or indeed a nominee is selected, whoever wins out for the party’s nomination will enjoy an influx of new dollars previously absorbed by his or her primary competition.
In fact, the 10 Democrats who have announced first-quarter fundraising numbers thus far have actually collected a combined $79.6 million, a figure that collectively already surpasses the $65.6 million the entire Democratic presidential field raised during the beginning of the 2016 cycle.
Trump, for his part, has managed to maintain his fundraising edge though, among other tactics, sheer persistence. He has essentially never stopped campaigning and raising money, even going as far as to file paperwork for his re-election bid on the very day he took the oath of office to begin his first term in the White House.
Much of that fundraising has been grassroots. The campaign says almost 99 percent of donations so far were $200 or less, with an average contribution of $34.26.