Jul 16, 2019

Q2 fundraising: Trump still winning the money race

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Data: FEC; Note: Trump fundraising does not include receipts from Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

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.
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Data: FEC; Note: Trump fundraising does not include receipts from Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

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.

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Data: FEC; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

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.
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Data: FEC; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

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