In the crowded field of Democrats jockeying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has raised more money than his rivals, with more of it coming from small-dollar donors and more from outside his home state.
A Reuters analysis of first quarter fundraising reports filed on Monday found that while Democratic White House hopefuls talk about building their campaigns on “grassroots” or small donor support, only six of 15 amassed half their hauls from small-dollar donations.
And many candidates are still leaning on donors in their home states for larger checks. Nine Democratic candidates received the bulk of their contributions of $200 or more from their home states, the Reuters analysis found.
The analysis includes fundraising reports covering the first three months of 2019 by the candidates who launched their campaigns prior to April 1st. The field of candidates has since swelled, with 18 Democrats vying to win the party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in November 2020.
Many Democrats have touted their support among so-called “small dollar” donors, those who give less than $200. But only six — Sanders, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang, a former tech executive — are relying chiefly on those small-dollar donors.
Sanders, of Vermont, benefited the most from small-dollar donors in the first quarter, with about 84 percent of his $18 million haul coming from individuals who contributed less than $200.
Sanders also had the most geographic diversity in his donations, with California donors accounting for 27 percent of his donations of $200 or more.