Q2 fundraising: Trump still winning the money race
Until election day on November 3, 2020, Axios will be tracking the fundraising of every candidate for federal office.
Why it matters: President Trump raised more money than any other candidate for a second straight quarter, according to fundraising reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission, but even with Democratic contributions split among a wide field of candidates, top candidates are demonstrating they can compete with Trump in the money race.
- Still, the president's fundraising declined from the previous quarter, from $30.3 million to $26.5 million. Meanwhile, Democratic competitors like Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg increased their fundraising totals and narrowed the money gap between themselves and Trump.
- But, but, but: Trump had a head start, and he still has a far larger war chest than any potential opponent.
If fundraising is a proxy for voter enthusiasm, Sanders is positioned for another long presidential race. The Vermont senator finished second to Trump in second quarter fundraising, reporting $25.7 million in receipts and improving his fundraising haul from the first quarter.
- Beto O'Rourke lost momentum, falling nearly $6 million shy of his first quarter fundraising mark. Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Tulsi Gabbard also saw their fundraising drop from last quarter.
- Joe Biden raised $22 million, fourth among all candidates.
The race to replace Arizona Senator John Kyl is shaping up to be a costly one between astronaut Mark Kelly and fighter pilot Martha McSally, who raised the most and second most among all Senate candidates in the second quarter.
- After losing a close Senate race to Democrat Kristen Sinema last year, McSally was appointed to Arizona's other Senate seat by the governor.
- Kelly is married to former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised $3.1 million in the second quarter, good for third among Senate candidates. McConnell has been challenged by multiple Democrats, including fighter pilot Amy McGrath.
In the House, entrenched incumbents padded their fundraising leads over any potential challengers.
- Steve Scalise of Louisiana raised about $3 million, the most of any House candidate for the second straight quarter.
- He was trailed by former Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought in $1.3 million, while freshman Democrat and progressive favorite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought in $1.2 million.
- More than four-fifths of Ocasio-Cortez' fundraising total came from donors who gave less than $200.