President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have raised an impressive haul as the 2020 presidential election began this year, but the disparate Democratic candidates have raised even more. Trump has an edge because the RNC is working for him, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is not only in debt but also untethered to any one candidate.
Last week, Michael Glassner, CEO of Donald J. Trump for President Inc., reported that Trump’s campaign and the RNC raised a combined $76.1 million in the first three months of 2019. The two have over $80 million in combined cash on hand — 21 times the amount Barack Obama and the DNC had raised at this time in 2011.
Perhaps more importantly, a whopping 98.79 percent of the donations to the Trump campaign came from donors contributing $200 or less, showing powerful grassroots support.
By contrast, the DNC — which will not support any one of the competing Democratic candidates until after the primary — still has $6.6 million in debt. It raised $20.9 million this year and finished March with $9.3 million cash on hand, while the RNC ended the month with $33.1 million cash on hand, having raised almost $46 million this year.
Trump enjoys a strong advantage over even the most well-funded 2020 Democrat. Eight Democrats have raised less than $5 million: Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) ($405K); former HUD Secretary Julian Castro ($1.1M); Marianne Williamson ($1.5M); Andrew Yang ($1.7M); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) ($1.95M); former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) ($2M); Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) ($2.25M); Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) ($2.97M).
Another six have raised between $5 and $10 million: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) ($5M); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) ($5.2M); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ($6M); former Vice President Joe Biden ($6.3M in 24 hours); Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($7M); and Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) ($9.4M).
Only Sen.s Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have raised more than $10 million — at $12 million and $18.2 million, respectively. Trump’s campaign has raised $30 million.
Due to the timing of different candidates entering the race (most importantly the late entrance of Joe Biden), many of these candidates will raise more in the next three months and likely outpace their competitors. However, as of this week, the Democrats have raised approximately $82.97 million combined — roughly $6 million more than Trump and the RNC. With the DNC’s haul factored in, Democrats have raised roughly $100 million.
Whichever Democrat prevails in the 2020 primary, he or she will not be able to consolidate all the money raised by his or her competitors. However, Democrats are anxious to defeat Trump, so the nominee should attract a great deal of support from donors who supported his or her primary competitors.
Trump has a strong edge over any one Democrat right now, but the race is going to change substantially in the next few months. Democrats will attack one another, but eventually one of them will unite the party against the president. Trump is strong, but he will need continued support through November 2020. The grassroots support for his campaign is a good sign, but Republicans cannot afford to grow complacent.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.