Sen. Amy Klobuchar says her presidential campaign brought in $5.2 million in the seven weeks from her mid-February announcement through the end of the first quarter of fundraising on March 31.
While respectable, the Minnesota Democrat’s fundraising figure trailed significantly larger hauls by some of her rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Klobuchar’s campaign announced Monday that the senator also transferred more than $3 million from her Senate 2018 re-election campaign, bringing her January-March total to more than $8 million. It added that Klobuchar had $7 million cash-on-hand as of the beginning of this month.
The campaign highlighted Klobuchar’s grassroots appeal, saying the senator’s “average online grassroots contribution was $40 and 85 percent of all donors gave less than $100.”
Fundraising, along with polling, is a much watched barometer of a candidate’s clout, strength, and popularity. The first quarter campaign cash figures, the first of the 2020 election cycle, will be heavily scrutinized and analyzed.
Klobuchar’s announcement came one day after Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey reported raising $5 million during the first quarter. Booker declared his candidacy for president 10 days before Klobuchar.
The big winner so far in the race for campaign cash is Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The independent senator, who’s making his second straight bid for the Democratic nomination, raised an eye-popping $18.2 million in the 71 days from his mid-February launch through the end of March. Sen. Kamala Harris of California brought in $12 million in the 70 days from her January announcement through the end of the quarter. And former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who announced his bid in mid-March, hauled in $9.4 million in the first 18 days of his campaign.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was the first 2020 Democratic contender to announce first-quarter campaign cash numbers. His $7 million haul was further evidence that the one-time long shot for the nomination was rising in stature and strength.
New York-based entrepreneur Andrew Yang reported raising $1.7 million.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, known as strong fundraisers in the Senate, have yet to report their campaign cash numbers.
The campaigns have until April 15 to file their fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson, a presidential campaign veteran, highlighted that the numbers are an important “data point to show us how campaigns are doing.”
“The numbers will surely be over-interpreted, but they will tell us who is building the base of support needed in order to stay in for the long haul,” explained Ferguson, who served as a senior spokesman on the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign. “The numbers will show us who is building the grassroots support needed to get on the debate stage.”