WASHINGTON – Five Democratic presidential hopefuls have separated themselves from the pack in terms of campaign fundraising, while two Colorado candidates face an uphill battle, according to Federal Election Commission reports released Tuesday.
Candidates were required to submit their April 1-June 30 campaign finance figures by midnight Monday. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders edged South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for the best quarter with $25.6 million raised. With $24.9 million, Buttigieg would have bested Sanders had the independent from Vermont not transferred $7.6 million from previous campaigns.
Former Vice President Joe Biden with $22 million, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with $19 million and Sen. Kamala Harris of California with $12 million, also posted strong numbers, which dwarfed those in the crowded field of candidates behind them.
Bennet raised $3.5 million this quarter and Hickenlooper raised just $1.1 million. They rank 15th and 16th, respectively, in the 2020 election cycle’s campaign fundraising totals.
Bennet’s campaign got off to a relatively late start. He was mulling a presidential bid earlier this year but was forced to delay it when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April. After a successful surgery, he started his campaign in May.
Since then, he has struggled to reel in the front-runners. Bennet gave an impassioned plea for humanitarian immigration reform in June’s debate, but he is still hovering around 1% in most presidential polls.
Hickenlooper launched his candidacy in March, but his campaign has barely gotten off the ground. He has less than $1 million in the bank after raising $1.2 million this quarter. Politico reported that at least five Hickenlooper staffers quit the campaign in June after he refused to halt his presidential bid to make a run for the U.S. Senate.
Bennet and Hickenlooper have fundraised well in their home state. About a third of Bennet’s contributions have come from Colorado, while about half of Hickenlooper’s have. Buttigieg, by comparison, has gained appeal across the country. Just 3% of his campaign contributions have come from his home state of Indiana.
Both Colorado candidates qualified for the second Democratic presidential debate July 30 and 31 in Detroit.
James Marshall is a student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.