In the first quarter of 2019, President Trump raised a self-reported $30 million for his reelection campaign, blazing past the fundraising totals of Democratic candidates. It appears his plan to file reelection paperwork on the night of his inauguration has paid off: In addition to the $30 million raised by the campaign, the Republican National Committee has reportedly raised $46 million for their 2020 candidate. According to RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, the campaign’s had eight seven-figure days in 2019 and 100,000 new donors since January.
With their donor bases intact and no primary challengers to split up donors, incumbents enjoy natural fundraising advantages; still, Trump is significantly outpacing his Democratic rivals. As NBC News notes, Trump raised more in the first quarter than the top two Democrats combined — Bernie Sanders with $18.2 million, and Kamala Harris with $12 million. In total, the eight Democrats who have reported their first-quarter numbers have raised a combined $65.8 million, far less than Trump’s $82 million total of his own fundraising and the RNC money.
As CNN reports, almost 99 percent of donations to the campaign were $200 or less, with an average donation of $34.26. More than the $30 million number, those small donations should catch Democrats’ attention. As primary candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren reject big-ticket fundraising in favor of small, individual donors, it appears that the president could be running their game more effectively — while still raking in serious PAC money. And after the long primary process, the Trump campaign will have much of its fundraising intact for the main haul. Speaking of Trump’s rivals, a campaign official told NBC News that, after the primary, “We expect them to be bruised, battered, and broke.”