Top 2020 Democrats step up spending sharply in Q4
The leading Democratic presidential contenders spent more money than they raised in the last quarter of 2019, deploying a combined $140 million in the period during the lead-up to the start of the nomination race.
The filing of the fourth-quarter reports to the Federal Election Commission on Friday comes just days before Iowa is set to hold its caucuses on Monday, with polls showing a close race with no clear favorites.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) posted the highest spending relative to how much she raised, spending $33.7 million in the fourth quarter and raising $21.7 million — a burn rate of 155 percent. The senator ended the quarter with roughly $13.7 million cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) accelerated his spending in the fourth quarter, deploying $50 million, double the amount in the previous quarter. He brought in $34.5 million, making his total burn rate 145 percent. Sanders ended the quarter with $18.2 million cash on hand.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent more than $34 million in the final quarter, up from $18.5 million in the previous trimester. He raised $24.7 million in the same time frame for a burn rate of 135 percent. He had $14.5 million cash on hand.
Former Vice President Joe Biden raised $23.3 million and spent the same amount in the fourth quarter.
His campaign notably ended the quarter with the lowest cash on hand in the race’s top tier, reporting $8.9 million at the end of the quarter, leaving him vulnerable to any dips in fundraising relative to his 2020 rivals.
Businessman Andrew Yang, who is nearing the end of a 17-day bus tour of the Hawkeye State, also stepped up his spending in the fourth quarter.
Yang’s spending shot up from $4.4 million in the third quarter to more than $19 million in the fourth quarter. He raised $16.5 million in that same period, bringing his burn rate to 116 percent.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who has faced an uphill climb getting out of the race’s middle tier, appeared to take a more cautious approach to spending at the end of 2019. She raised $11.4 million in the period and spent around $10 million, bringing her year-end burn rate to 88.6 percent.
The billionaires in the race, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, collectively flexed their financial muscles, spending a combined $340 million in the fourth quarter.
The two candidates contributed a combined $355 million of their own money to their campaigns in the same period.
Unlike Steyer, Bloomberg is not competing in the early state contests, but he appears to be setting the stage for a very expensive Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg spent more than $188 million in the fourth quarter. He is entirely self-funding his campaign.
The eventual nominee will have to contend with the powerful campaign bank account being compiled by President Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
The Trump campaign, RNC and authorized joint committees reported on Friday raising a combined $155 million in the fourth quarter and have $195.9 million cash on hand going into the election year.
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