Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Are Dominating the Donor Game

Politics Features Bernie Sanders
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Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Are Dominating the Donor Game

A new feature at the New York Times with some nifty infographics proves what we suspected: Through June 30, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come out swinging in the primary donor war, amassing a total of 1.17 million individual donors compared to roughly 1.95 million for every other candidate.

Sanders in particular has thrived, amassing 746,000 donors, which more than doubles all but two candidates. Warren sits at 421,000, while Pete Buttigieg has surprised by collecting 390,000 donors, slightly behind Warren. Together, the three of them have about as many donors combined as the rest of the field.

Kamala Harris (277,000), Joe Biden (256,000), and Beto O’Rourke (188,000) round out the top six, while Andrew Yang is the only other candidate to have surpassed the 130,000 threshold, which is the cut-off for qualifying for the next primary debate in September (along with separate polling criteria, which Yang has not yet met). That said, it has been reported that Cory Booker has already qualified, despite the fact that the Times had him with just 100,000 individual donors as of June 30. Amy Klobuchar and Julian Castro have also hit the 130,000 mark in the month since, and Klobuchar claims she has qualified for the debate.

The Times piece infographic includes nation-wide maps, in which Sanders controls vast swaths of geographical territory (so much so that they had to include a non-Sanders map) while the likes of Klobuchar, Biden, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg have carved out their own regional turf. There are also city maps that provide interesting demographic data…such as the fact that richer liberals have flocked to Buttigieg, while those with less money support Sanders.

Of course, total donors is not the same as total donations. Sanders led that category too, but by a much narrower margin, having collected $36 million as of June 30 compared to Buttigieg’s $32 million, Warren’s $25 million, and Harris’ $24 million. Biden was the only other candidate above $20 million in total earnings.

Conversely, the news is bad both in total donors and total donations for candidates like Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand, who have seemingly failed to capture the national interest they’ll need to be competitive in the primary.