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2020 Fever: Fundraising fun

Original article published on North by Northwestern by Fred Tippett available here

Hello again everyone! Welcome back to campus and to 2020 Fever. We’ve been away for three months, but by no means did the 2020 campaign go away. While we were off, Democrats Bill de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton, and John Hickenlooper dropped out, philanthropist Tom Steyer joined the race and the DNC held three debates, with another coming up next Tuesday, Oct. 15th. Also, Donald Trump now has a whopping three primary challengers: Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld.

While all that was going on, candidates kept on raising money. In fact, the Federal Election Commission filing deadline for third quarter fundraising is coming up within the next week. Is it a good idea for the first edition of this column for the year to be on the super sexy topic of fundraising? Who cares, we’re doing it anyway.

Bernie Sanders
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

There were some pretty big changes in fundraising in the third quarter. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders brought in the most money at around $25.3 million, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren followed behind with about $24.6 million. This quarter was one of growth for both senators, with Sanders bringing in around $7 million more, and Warren bringing in roughly $6 million more than last quarter.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang exploded this quarter, also bringing in at least $7 million more, putting his total at over $10 million. Plus, Marianne Williamson, everyone’s favorite piece of memetastic comic relief in the otherwise relatively dry debates, got a nice little bump of around $1.5 million. This brings her to a total of around $3 million this quarter.

But not everyone can have such a good quarter, which brings us to South Bend, Indiana. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden both saw a drop in fundraising. Buttigieg raised $19.1 million, about $6 million less than the previous quarter. Biden had a drop of around $7 million, leaving him with $15.2 million.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons 

While it’s interesting enough to watch these numbers go up and down and contemplate the sheer amount of money that goes into our national political campaigns, there is, incredibly, something even more interesting to look at in these numbers. Sanders and Warren raised the most money while also refusing large corporate donations. This means that all of their campaign money came from small, individual donations.

Despite taking corporate donations, Joe Biden raised considerably less money. Also notable, Biden raised the fourth highest amount of the Democratic candidates, although he still leads in most national polls. We’ll soon see if this is indicative of a possible slip in the former vice president’s lead.



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