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2020 leaders withdraw from the field

Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders raised $ 18 million in the second quarter, with one of the five Democrats raising at least $ 12 million. | Scott Olson / Getty Images

2020 elections

The latest fundraising statistics prove that there is a new tier in the Democratic primary – and that everyone is short of time.


The upper level of the Democratic presidential primary is now remodeled about five candidates. The latest fundraising figures prove it.

Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have raised about $ 100 million over the past three months. Together, they share a large majority of public support.

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They were already spending millions of dollars more than the number of candidates for the lower vote. Now, thanks to a powerful combination effect for their campaigns, these leading candidates are poised to reinvest these new funds in their digital activities and activities, strengthening their fundraising and enabling them to gain the 23 candidates.

It's too early to be an inflection point, but late enough for the rest of the pack to start worrying.

"The leaders are down, without fail," said Bob Mulholland, a member of California's National Democratic Committee. "It's like every season as you get closer, some teams are heading to the World Series or the Super Bowl … The difference between winning and losing is pretty tough."

the Consolidation of Democrats' money in the primary – and now upper-flattened – era has become evident this week after Warren, the Massachusetts senator, announced Monday he raised $ 19.1 million in the second quarter. Buttigieg raised 25 million, Biden 21.5 million, Sanders 18 million and Harris 12 million.

This money is not just a reference. Buttigieg, while raising its incredible amount, has begun hiring dozens of organizers in Iowa and New Hampshire and plans to recruit 300 people by Labor Day. Warren has added more than 100 employees in the last three months and already has more than 300 in total.

Harris in recent weeks has significantly expanded its operations in the first four candidate states, with more than 65 staff members in Iowa, 49 in South Carolina, 35 in Nevada and 30 in New Hampshire.

While lower-ball candidates are still struggling to qualify for the next presidential debates, candidates with money can now return to their list of expanding donors for repeated contributions. By the end of the summer, they should start booking time for TV commercials in some countries. first primary states.

For all non-top candidates, "From now on, it's becoming more difficult for everyone," said Doug Herman, a Democratic strategist. "Because if you're at the bottom of the list and you're looking for donors, you're trying to change poll numbers, or you're inspired by a viral moment and you have not been able to do it." to do it so far, which suggests they can do it when people start to consolidate among the top five?

Herman said Democratic voters "are starting to exclude people. They do not consolidate, but they reduce it to five or six. They begin to understand who they are not for.

According to the latest Morning Consult survey, these five leaders occupy more than 80% of the support of the Democratic electorate nationwide. And while many voters have not yet chosen a single candidate, second-choice voters tend to be part of the same group of candidates.

The focus on these candidates partly reflects not only the recognition of their name, but also the electorate who aspires for a more reasonable number of candidates to be assessed. A result reflecting other polls, a CNN / Des Moines Register / Mediacom survey last month revealed that an overwhelming majority of those attending the caucus felt that the number of candidates was too large. The media is starting to help them by drawing more and more public attention to the skirmishes between the top performers.

The controversy surrounding school transportation between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lasted more than a week after the first primary debates that took place last month. Warren's increase was important largely because of its implications for Sanders, another progressive and another leading candidate.

When Representative Eric Swalwell abandoned his long-shot campaign on Monday – the first major candidate to end his campaign – he stated that one of the most obvious challenges to his candidacy was "a lot of heavyweights in this field".

"You have people who, you know, have received high name recognition," he said. "Two of the candidates ran for president before I went on stage. We have a Californian senator running for the race, who is … very talented and very popular. "

When asked if he had any advice for Tom Steyer, the billionaire democrat mega-donor who announced the next day, Swalwell jokingly said, "It's hard.

The counselors of the candidates in the lead warn that the primary remains volatile. The same is true of major donors and unaffiliated strategists. Karen Hicks, a Democratic strategist from New Hampshire, said that a financial crisis, an international incident or other unforeseen event could propel a candidate who stands up to "face the moment of a crisis." way or from another ".

The main one, she said, is "always super fluid".

Steyer, the last entrant in the race, could make his mark with his immense wealth and expectations, he will spend at least $ 100 million.

"When you have a guy coming in with $ 100 million, you can not rule that out," said Rebecca Katz, a progressive consultant who had counseled Cynthia Nixon during her main campaign against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. last year.

However, she said that for candidates who do not already earn much ground and can not afford to self-finance, "For candidates who have dedicated their lives to public service, they are SOL."

Julián Castro is a revealing example. Former Obama cabinet member and former mayor of San Antonio held a debate last month to challenge Texas compatriot Beto O'Rourke on the issue of immigration.

On Monday, he sent an email to his supporters, noting that his campaign now had 130,000 different donors, which was a difficult threshold for the September presidential debate.

But Castro continues to vote at 1%, according to Morning Consult. O'Rourke is 3%.

"I think it's still time for the second-ranked candidate to resonate, but we have to do it because time is running out," said Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an influential legislator in South Carolina County. "Once the media focuses on those they perceive as leaders, it is very difficult for other candidates to find space or ink."

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