The crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates is showing early signs of money trouble as donors sit on the sidelines to see how the contest unfolds, signaling a drawn-out primary battle lies ahead.
The Democratic campaign comes into greater focus on Monday as declared White House hopefuls report their first quarter fundraising totals. Early glimpses provided by some of the more than one dozen declared candidates show that Democrats are raising less money than they have in previous cycles and are coming up short against the campaign bank account President Donald Trump is building.
Democrats collectively raised about $70 million since January, according to the candidates who have already released their fundraising totals. That’s less than the $81 million Democrats raised during the same period in 2007, the last time the party had an open primary, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. And it pales in comparison with the $30 million Trump raised during the first quarter.
“There is no question that the numbers are not at the level that they were with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008 by a long shot,” said Tom Nides, a Clinton adviser and longtime fundraiser. “Am I worried? No, I’m not worried. But I’m a little bit concerned.”
One of the hurdles for Democrats is that there are so many candidates competing for cash. That has encouraged some larger donors to take their time before backing a candidate, said Rufus Gifford, a Democratic donor who was Obama’s finance director.