These 5 Democrats lead the 2021 presidential campaign fundraising race

The RS Politics 2020 Democratic Primary Leaderboard

These 5 Democrats lead the 2021 presidential campaign fundraising race

Using South Carolina as a springboard, Joe Biden has won resounding victories across three weeks of primary contests that have put him on track to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Bernie Sanders, lagging far behind in delegates, is not done just yet. He’s a hit with voters under 50, with Latinos, liberals and independents. But his inability to break through with black voters has him on the ropes. Sanders counted on a head-to-head debate to draw contrasts with Biden and regain momentum. That strategy has failed. It’s hard to imagine his path.

Tulsi Gabbard dropped the race on March 19th. The field is down to two and the ranking is obvious:

RELATED: RS Politics 2020 Democratic Primary Policy Guide

1) Joe Biden

Biden always said, wait for South Carolina. And he was right. With overwhelming support from the African American community, he turned his campaign’s fortunes around in a romp. He racked up 10 wins on Super Tuesday, and continued to score delegate wins from Michigan to Mississippi a week later.

The former vice president offers America a seductive promise — a reboot from the Trump catastrophe and a return to the sanity of the Obama era. And many rank-and-file Democrats, particularly older voters and voters of color, seem happy to fall in line behind Biden, 77. At his Philadelphia kickoff rally last May, Biden touted his record as a Mr.

Fixit: “I know how to make government work.”
Signature Policy: Biden has peerless foreign policy credentials and isn’t afraid to tout them: “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” he’s said. “I know as much about American foreign policy [as] anyone around, including even maybe Kissinger.” (Read more about Biden’s platform.

Signature Apology: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more,” Biden told reporters after being rebuked by multiple women for his space-invader style of politics. “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.

So that’s not the reputation I’ve had since I was in high school, for God’s sakes.”
Delegates: 1133
RS Coverage:
Joe Biden Is Not Helping

2) Bernie Sanders

The 78-year-old Sanders is riding a potent combination of people-power and cash — and claimed California, the richest delegate prize of Super Tuesday. The campaign’s focus on grassroots organizing is peerless in the 2020 field, and he’s built his campaign with the help of more than 1.

6 million individual donors, raising a whopping $34.5 million in the fourth quarter. Sanders is seen as the uncompromising champion of Medicare for All, and one-upped Warren’s income-based college debt relief by calling for a complete wipe the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student debt.

He recently received a clean bill of health after an October heart attack, but has backtracked on releasing his complete medical records.
Signature Policy: Sanders’ 2016 campaign set the table for 2020. He gets full credit for mainstreaming a $15 minimum wage and tuition-free college. Sanders recently introduced the “For the 99.

8% Act” that would sharply increase the estate tax, including imposing a 77 percent tax on estates in excess of $1 billion, raising an estimated $315 billion over a decade. (Read more about Sanders’ platform.

Signature Apology: Sanders apologized to former female staffers for a 2016 campaign marred by pay disparities and allegations of sexual harassment by male staffers, promising to “do better” moving forward.
Delegates: 833
RS Coverage:
On the Trail With Bernie Sanders 2.0

2020 Campaign Graveyard

Here lie the presidential ambitions of fallen Democratic contenders:

Tulsi Gabbard
Dropped Out: 3/19/20 after 411 days
Parting Words: “Our nation is facing an unprecedented global crisis… The best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress.”
Last Wish:
“That we stand hand in hand and work together to defeat this new enemy, the coronavirus.”
Endorsement: Joe Biden

Elizabeth Warren
Dropped Out: 3/5/20, after 390 days
Parting Words: “I may not be in the race for president in 2020, but this fight — our fight — is not over. And our place in this fight has not ended.”
Last Wish: “Nevertheless, you must persist.”
Delegates: 49

Mike Bloomberg
Dropped Out:


Presidential election campaign finance, 2020

These 5 Democrats lead the 2021 presidential campaign fundraising race

From Ballotpedia

This page provides information on campaign finance numbers drawn from reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission by noteworthy 2020 presidential candidates. It also explores historical context dating back to the 2008 presidential election.

This page covers raising and spending through the Post-General 2020 reports, which cover all funds raised and spent through November 23, 2020. Between January 1, 2017, and that date, President Donald Trump (R) had raised $785 million and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (D) had raised $1.06 billion for a combined total of $1.85 billion.

At this point in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton (D) had raised an inflation-adjusted $612 million and Trump had raised $358 million, for a combined total of $970 million. Over the entire 2016 campaign cycle, Clinton raised an inflation-adjusted $614 million to Trump's $368 million, a combined total of $982 million.

Reporting deadlines

Every presidential candidate is required to register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and file regular financial reports detailing their fundraising and campaign spending.

During presidential election years, candidates who anticipate that they will raise more than $100,000 or spend more than $100,000 must file reports on a monthly schedule. Candidates who anticipate that they will raise and spend less than $100,000 are required to file on a quarterly schedule.

During non-presidential election years, all presidential candidates are required to file quarterly reports regardless of how much money they plan on raising or spending.[1]

Monthly reporting schedule

The following table details reporting deadlines for candidates who filed finance reports on a monthly schedule. Both Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) filed reports on a monthly schedule.

Quarterly reporting schedule

The following table details reporting deadlines for candidates who filed finance reports on a quarterly schedule.


The following chart displays Joe Biden and Donald Trump's overall fundraising over time through the Post-General 2020 campaign finance reports. Hover over each line for more specific figures.


The following chart displays Joe Biden and Donald Trump's overall spending over time through the Post-General 2020 campaign finance reports. Hover over each line for more specific figures.

Cash on hand

The following chart displays cash on hand—a measurement of how much money a campaign has currently available in its campaign accounts—for Joe Biden and Donald Trump as of each reporting deadline during the 2020 campaign cycle.

Historical comparisons

In this section, you will find fundraising comparisons for candidates and committees in the 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 campaign cycles. This section looks at fundraising over each four-year presidential cycle, so “Year 1” refers to the year after the last election (2005/2009/2013/2017), “Year 2” to the midterm before the election (2006/2010/2014/2018), etc.

All figures in this section referring to previous election cycles have been inflation-adjusted.

Inflation adjustment was calculated by comparing January 2017 to January of Year 1 of the previous cycle in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator.

This resulted in a 5% increase for figures from the 2016 campaign cycle, a 15% increase for figures from the 2012 campaign cycle, and a 27% increase for figures from the 2008 campaign cycle.

Presidential candidates

The following charts compare campaign finance figures for the major-party nominees in 2008, 2012, and 2016 to 2020 figures for Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D).


As of the Post-General report in Year 4, the fundraising leader across the past four election cycles was Joe Biden (D) in 2020, who had raised $1.06 billion.

He was followed by Barack Obama (D) in 2008, who had raised $982 million in inflation-adjusted funds. Obama's 2012 campaign followed with $847 million in fundraising.

The next-highest total was Donald Trump's (R) $785 million in fundraising for 2020.

Party committees and incumbent presidents

See also: Party committee fundraising, 2019-2020

The following chart compares combined fundraising figures for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Barack Obama (D) during the 2012 campaign cycle with those for the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 campaign cycle.

So far, Trump and the RNC have consistently outpaced the fundraising figures posted by Obama and the DNC. As of the Post General report in Year 4, Trump and the RNC have raised a combined $1.9 billion, while Obama and the DNC had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $1.4 billion.

See also


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