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Various lower-tier candidates are leading the 2020 race in one way: they've raised most of their money from small-dollar donors.

Why it matters: Fundraising as a whole can be a proxy for voter enthusiasm. But especially small donations, which Democrats have been fighting to get from regular people who want to give their money to campaigns — and mostly online.

Expand chart
Data: FEC; Note: Includes candidates whose authorized committees raised at least $2 million in individual donations in Q2 2019; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
  • Some Democratic campaigns privately say that their small-dollar donations suggest they've attracted lower-income and minority voters. Others say it shows their strength with the grassroots wing of the party.

Between the lines: It makes sense that Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have raised more than 65% of their money from small contributions — they've both sworn off high-dollar fundraisers.

  • Andrew Yang's popularity online could explain how he's raised a majority of his money from nominal donations.
  • Julián Castro's campaign often emails supporters asking for just $15, and has even sent some "humbly asking you to pitch in $1 or more."

The big picture: ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising platform, says it has raised $420 million so far in 2019.

  • Grassroots donors gave $246 million in Q2 alone
  • 3.3 million unique donors have contributed to nearly 9,000 Democratic campaigns and organizations this cycle overall
  • Compared to the same point in the 2018 cycle: donors had given $249 million, and 4.9 million people made contributions through ActBlue throughout the entire 2018 cycle.

The bottom line: Keep an eye on these small-dollar Democratic donations, especially online — that's what helped them break fundraising records in the 2018 midterms.

Go deeper: Axios' 2020 fundraising tracker for every candidate for federal office

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 19 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.