Does Money Matter?

Where Things Stand

Ohio congressman Tim Ryan launched a surprising bid for the presidency this past week bringing my full list up to 15 people:

-      John Delaney

-      Andrew Yang

-      Elizabeth Warren

-      Tulsi Gabbard

-      Julián Castro

-      Kirsten Gillibrand

-      Kamala Harris 

-      Pete Buttigieg 

-      Cory Booker

-      Amy Klobuchar

-      Bernie Sanders

-      Jay Inslee

-      John Hickenlooper

-      Beto O’Rourke

-      Tim Ryan


Who’s up next?

-      Eric Swalwell is running, according to Edward-Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic, and will announce in the next few days

-      Joe Bidenis running and will announce after Easter – per murmurings from his staff and his very transparent remarks

-      Michael Bennet, despite being recently diagnosed with cancer, said he plans on running for president


Keep an eye on …

-      Seth Moulton, because why not?

-      Stacey Abramshas kept the door open


On Money, Money, Money

Last Sunday marked the end of the first fiscal quarter of the 2020 cycle, giving us the first glimpse at the fundraising totals of all the presidential candidates. Technically, campaigns have until April 15thto file the required reporting documents – but some have already released certain statistics so far. Here are a couple key metrics we know at this moment:


Total Raised

-      Bernie Sanders: $18.2 million

-      Kamala Harris: $12 million

-      Beto O’Rourke: $9.4 million

-      Pete Buttigieg: $7 million

-      Cory Booker: $5.1 million

-      Andrew Yang: $1.7 million.


Total Contributors

-      Bernie Sanders: 525,000 donors

-      Kamala Harris: 138,000 donors

-      Pete Buttigieg: 158,550 donors

-      Andrew Yang: 80,000 donors


Dollars Per Day

-      Beto O'Rourke: $520,000 (though that number falls to $194,000 if you exclude the Day 1 push)

-      Bernie Sanders: $444,000 (which falls to $307,000, excluding Day 1)

-      Kamala Harris: $171,000

-      Pete Buttigieg: $107,000


Notably, most of the candidates – including top-tier candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Bookers – have been quiet so far on their totals. And there’s much we still don’t know, like how much was raised online versus at big-dollar fundraisers.

Another interesting dynamic we’ll need to look for after April 15th– according to Fall 2018 Fellow Tim Lim – is a candidate’s “burn rate,” or how much they spent compared to how much they brought in. This will give us a sense of who has built a sustainable campaign around them and who can last for the long haul.

But all of this raises another question: how much should money reallymatter? In my view, it certainly doesn’t matter as much as the media and pundit types would have you believe. But it certainly matters more this year than in any other years. The digital revolution, a wave that swelled in 2018 and will likely crest in 2020, has democratized fundraising unlike ever before. While the comparison of dollars to votes isn’t necessarily perfect, it’s certainly as good an indicator of support as we can get and worth factoring into our analysis.

In all the hype around fundraising numbers, it’s still important to remember that it’s veryearly and all of this can change – especially after the debates in just a few short months.


On My Mind: White House Spin

There’s been a lot of chatter coming out of the White House about how ‘chaotic’ they think the primary is so far. That’s a really rude comment to make – especially given how positive candidates so far have tried to be. I don’t remember President Obama ever injecting himself into the Republican primary (certainly not this early, if at all). It’s beneath the dignity of the White House to blindly attack on such a purely nasty, partisan basis.

Just one more reason I can’t wait to take them on in the general and send this president packing.

Max Magid