Elizabeth Warren outpaces fellow progressive Bernie Sanders in second quarter fundraising

Warren raised $19.1 million in the second quarter — more than triple what she raised in first three months of 2019

Published July 8, 2019 4:20PM (EDT)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (Getty/Alex Wong)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (Getty/Alex Wong)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $19.1 million for her Democratic presidential campaign in the second quarter of 2019 — an eye-popping total that is more than triple what her campaign brought in during the first three months of the year.

The fundraising haul places the Massachusetts Democrat in the top-tier of the Democratic money race and ahead of her chief primary rival for the party's progressive mantle, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who collected $18 million over the same period. She also outpaced Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who raked in $12 million in the second quarter.

The senator's second quarter sum is likely to put her in third place in fundraising among her rivals in the Democratic money race. Her haul falls short of the nearly $25 million raised by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the $21.5 milion collected by former Vice President Joe Biden over the same period.

"We raised more money than any other 100 percent grassroots-funded campaign," Warren's campaign manager, Roger Lau, wrote in an email to supporters Monday, a clear shot at Biden and Buttigieg's fundraising efforts, which have featured catered events with admission tickets at a price tag of $2,800. "You sent a message that Elizabeth's vision for the future is worth fighting for. And you showed the rich and powerful that change is coming — sooner than they think."

Warren's total came from more than 384,000 donors, whose donations averaged $28, the campaign said. More than 80 percent of those donors gave to Warren's campaign for the first time in the second quarter, which ran from April through June.

Her fundraising haul is the latest evidence that her policy-driven approach is resonating with a growing number of Democratic voters. The senator's "I Have a Plan" motto has become a rallying cry among her supporters, while her proposals to cancel student debt, combat the opioid crisis and boost wages for women of color have drawn widespread applause.

She has seized momentum by talking at forums and commenting on the news of the day — like when she became the first 2020 candidate to call for President Donald Trump's impeachment after the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Warren's total also reduces concern that the senator would struggle to distinguish herself from Sanders, who has established himself as a national figurehead for progressive ideas by pushing bold proposals and raising millions of dollars from a large pool of small dollar donors. Warren has embraced some of Sanders' ideas — like a $15 minimum wage, "Medicare for All" and swearing off "big money" donors — as she has sought to argue that she is the candidate in the best position to take on Trump in 2020.

"You're making it possible to build a presidential campaign without catering to wealthy donors — with no closed-door fundraisers, no Super PACs, and no money from Washington lobbyists, corporate PACs, or for that matter, PACs of any kind," Lau wrote in his email to supporters.

Candidates are required by law to track and disclose their fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission, and those donations collected in the second quarter must be reported by July 15. Those reports will provide a more detailed look at the money candidates have raised and how they are spending it.

By Shira Tarlo

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