Analyst says voters look at fundraising when choosing 2020 candidates

Analyst Vanessa Williamson said on Monday that many voters are using 2020 candidates' fundraising hauls to help them decide whether to support them in the primary. 

"I think one of the interesting things about this is how early it's all happening," Williamson, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"I think people are watching the donation money, and trying to use that as a proxy for whether these people are going to exceed in the long run," she continued.

"It's got the same sort of feedback loop that polling does. People are like 'oh, that person's in the lead, I should support that one because he's electable,'" she said. "That sort of question is happening in the background of all of this. I think it's fascinating." 

A number of Democratic contenders have already announced their latest quarterly fundraising hauls, ahead of the deadline at the end of Monday. 

The two top 2020 Democratic fundraisers in terms of the total amount raised were Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with more than $18 million, and Sen. Kamala Harris(D-Calif.), who brought in roughly $12 million.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's reelection campaign raised more than $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, more than the combined fundraising hauls from Sanders and Harris. 

— Julia Manchester