Bernie Sanders’ impressive fundraising haul during the last quarter of 2019 underscored how much money billionaire Michael Bloomberg is spending on advertising, as a Politico reporter noted.
Bloomberg only entered the race in late November, but he has already managed to hit fifth place in a number of national polls.
The former New York mayor has decided to skip campaigning in the four early-voting states, instead focusing on Super Tuesday states like California. Bloomberg has already spent more than $100 million advertising in states that will begin voting in early March.
Trump campaign credits impeachment for $46m fundraising total
The president’s reelection campaign announced this morning that Trump raised an impressive $46m during the last quarter of 2019, finishing the year with more than $100m in cash on hand.
Trump’s campaign manager credited the president’s impeachment last month with supercharging grassroot donations. “Democrats and the media have been in a sham impeachment frenzy and the president’s campaign only got bigger and stronger with our best fundraising quarter this cycle,” Brad Parscale said in a statement.
Democrats have also financially benefitted from impeachment, raking in millions of dollars after House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formal launch of the inquiry in late September.
But the president’s massive fundraising operation, in combination with the resources of the Republican National Committee and conservative Pacs, will make him a formidable opponent for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
Hours after Bernie Sanders announced he raised $35 million last quarter, the presidential candidate’s campaign manager said he would not accept big-dollar donations if he won the nomination.
Sanders has touted his grassroots support, noting the average donaton during the last quarter of 2019 was $18.53. His impressive haul marrked the largest single-quarter fundraising total of any Democratic presidential candidate during this cycle.
One of his opponents, Elizabeth Warren, has similarly said she would forgo big-money fundraisers if she won the nomination, but she clarified she would headline open-press events for the Democratic National Committee.
Republican senator Chuck Grassley just sent this snarky tweet about the president, aimed at “whoever keeps watch” on Trump at the White House.
The Iowa Republican specifically advised Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, to read a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed from conservative commentator Daniel Henninger.
In the piece, Henninger cites the upheaveals of the “Roaring 20’s” to call for “another wave of creative thought—about politics, culture, education and morality.”
Trump is still at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago and has no events on his public schedule, so the president is spending another day at Trump International Golf Club.
Trump has repeatedly visited his golf club since arriving in Florida for the holidays, but he lashed out against the media for covering his trip there on New Year’s Eve, hours after pro-Iran protesters stormed the US embassy in Iraq.
Andrew Yang, the only non-white candidate to qualify for the last Democratic presidential debate, congratulated Julián Castro on running a “tremendous race” after the former husing secretary dropped out of the primary.
Yang qualified for the December debate on the last day to do so and became the only candidate of color on the Los Angeles stage.
Reacting to the mostly white debate stage, Castro’s team had complained that candidates of color were being stifled in the race and called for “more systematic, wholesale change to the process so that our primaries are a little more reflective of our party and our country’s diversity.”
One of the issues that Julián Castro highlighted in the final months of his campaign was whether the mostly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire should continue to vote first in presidential primaries.
“I actually believe that we do need to change the order of the states,” Castro said in November. “I don’t believe we’re the same country we were in 1972. That’s when Iowa first held its caucus first, and by the time we have the next presidential election in 2024, it’ll have been more than 50 years since 1972. Our country’s changed a lot in those 50 years.”
Castro applauded the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire for carefully vetting presidential candidates, but he added that the states were “not reflective of the United States as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party, and I believe that other states should have their chance.”
Castro’s team has also argued that the early-voting status of Iowa and New Hampshire incentivized the media to focus on white, working-class voters who swung to Trump in 2016, instead of covering the voters of color who make up a key portion of the Democratic base.
Democratic presidential candidates thanked Julián Castro for “proposing bold and progressive plans” and “sticking up for underrepresented communities” after the former housing secretary suspended his White House bid.
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is often named as a potential running mate for the party’s eventual nominee, said the country owed Castro “a debt of gratitude” for how he helped to shape the race.
With Julián Castro’s departure, 14 candidates remain in the Democratic presidential primary, with a month to go until the Iowa caucuses.
Considering the quick turnaround before the January 14 debate and the possibility of a Senate impeachment trial, it seems likely that other candidates will drop out before Iowans start casting their votes.
Julián Castro has now tweeted out the four-minute video announcing his decision to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary, which recaps how the candidate helped to shape the conversation on issues like immigration and criminal justice reform.
“I’m so proud of the campaign we’ve run together. We’ve shaped the conversation on so many important issues in this race, stood up for the most vulnerable people, and given a voice to those who are often forgotten,” Castro said in the video.
“But with only a month until the Iowa caucuses, and given the circumstances of this campaign season, I have determined that it simply isn’t our time. … So today it’s with a heavy heart and with profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president. To all who have been inspired by our campaign, especially our young people, keep reaching for your dreams—and keep fighting for what you believe in. ¡Ganaremos un día!”
There has been speculation for months over whether (or, more likely, when) Julián Castro would drop out of the Democratic presidential primary.
After narrowly meeting a late October goal to raise $800,000, Castro laid off staff in the early voting states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, while offering support to staffers looking for jobs with other campaigns.
The former housing secretary also failed to qualify for the past two debates, which prompted criticism from his team that the qualification requirements had shut out candidates of color.
Julián Castro drops out of Democratic presidential race
Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic presidential primary, is dropping out of the race after failing to qualify for recent debates and struggling to attract donations or supporters.
The New York Times reports:
Throughout his campaign, Mr. Castro, 45, a native of San Antonio who spent five years as its mayor, portrayed himself as an unapologetic liberal who was shaped by his humble beginnings and had been overlooked by the press. Though he created some memorable moments as he championed progressive policy and challenged his rivals on the campaign trail, Mr. Castro was unable to break into the upper tier of a crowded primary field. His exit is the latest departure of a candidate of color from a field that began as the most racially diverse ever in a Democratic primary.
‘I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time,’ Mr. Castro said in a nearly four-minute video message released by his campaign, which included a montage from his year on the trail, including visits to the border and a homeless encampment in Oakland. ‘Today it’s with a heavy heart, and profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president.’
Iowa congresswoman Abby Finkenauer endorses Biden
Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, a freshman House Democrat who represents an Iowa district that swung from supporting Barack Obama in 2012 to backing Donald Trump in 2016, has announced she is endorsing Joe Biden’s presidential bid.
“We need a President who reflects those same values and will make America’s working families their top priority. Joe Biden’s character, record, and commitment to rebuilding the backbone of the country — the middle class — is what Iowa and this country needs,” Finkenauer said in an email released by Biden’s campaign.
The Biden team’s email describes Finkenauer as “one of the most coveted endorsements in Iowa and nationally.” The 31-year-old lawmaker was one of the first two congresswomen elected in Iowa, which hosts the first caucuses in the Democratic primary race, and her 2018 victory was heralded as “the most authentic roadmap for Democratic success in the heartland.”
Finkenauer is engaged to Elizabeth Warren’s Iowa political director, Daniel Wasta, but the congresswoman has previously made clear that connection would not weigh on her eventual endorsement.
Sanders raises record $34.5m in fourth quarter
Good morning, live blog readers!
It is looking like a very happy new year for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator’s campaign announced this morning that he raised $34.5m in the last quarter of 2019, the largest single-quarter haul in the Democratic primary race to date.
Sanders’ campaign said it received more than 1.8m donations, with contributions averaging $18.53. Since launching his campaign, Sanders has received more than 5 million individual donations.
“Bernie Sanders is closing the year with the most donations of any candidate in history at this point in a presidential campaign,” Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir said. “You build a grassroots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win.”
Sanders’ fundraising total far outpaces those of his opponents who have already announced their fourth-quarter numbers. Pete Buttigieg said yesterday that he raised a respectable $24.5m, and Andrew Yang announced this morning that he hit $16.5m.
Elizabeth Warren has not yet announced her fourth-quarter results, but the Massachusetts senator warned her supporters last week that she had only raised $17m so far. The figure marked a signficicant drop from previous quarters and sparked concerns of dimming enthusiasm among her supporters.
But even Sanders’ impressive haul is eclipsed by the fundraising machine powering Trump’s reelection bid. The president’s campaign announced today that it raised $46m last quarter, demonstrating the financial hurdles the eventual Democratic nominee will face.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Trump is still at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, and has no events on his public schedule.
- Both chambers of Congress remain out of session.
- Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden and Tom Steyer are campaigning in Iowa today, with one month to go until the caucuses.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.