The clearest takeaway from Democratic candidates’ second quarter fundraising numbers is that, like the polling, campaign money is coalescing around five particular contenders, Vox writes.
The top tier of candidates in polls, former Vice President Joe Biden; Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris; and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, is clearly the top tier in fundraising.
These five were the only five candidates to raise more than $11 million in the second quarter of 2019 (between April 1 and June 30). And there is a significant distance between them and the rest of the candidates – everyone else raised $4.5 million or below in contributions.
Then, within that top tier, Biden isn’t looking like a particularly dominant frontrunner, Sanders has some good news and some bad news, Buttigieg is punching way above his weight. Meanwhile, Warren has pulled off a remarkable turnaround, while Harris still has some work to do.
All five of these candidates, though, have succeeded in standing out in a crowded field and look well-positioned to be competitive going forward. As for the rest…things aren’t looking so hot.
All year, Biden has been the frontrunner in the polls, and as a former vice president, he has a good claim to being the “next in line” for the nomination.
And yet he hasn’t managed to transmute those advantages into a true powerhouse of a campaign performance.
The fundraising numbers are the latest indication of this. This was Biden’s first quarter in the race, and he raised $22 million – making him second in contributions overall. But that puts the former vice president behind South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was unknown nationally until this year. (Buttigieg raised $24 million for the primary.)
For comparison about what a dominant frontrunner’s fundraising looked like, Hillary Clinton raised $45 million in her first quarter in the race in 2015.