In a post yesterday on Joe Biden’s meh third-quarter fundraising haul, I suggested that its significance really depended on how the candidate nipping at his heels, Elizabeth Warren, did. Today we found out she did quite well, as NBC News reports:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has raised $24.6 million during the past three months, her campaign said Friday, beating her last quarter haul of $19.1 million and quadrupling her $6 million total from the first quarter of the year.
The announcement comes as Warren, who has eschewed high-dollar events in favor of targeting small-dollar donations — continues to solidify her place at or near the top of the Democratic presidential field in both polling and fundraising. She was outpaced only by fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders — who leads the pack with $25.3 million raised in the third quarter — and dwarfed the fundraising totals announced Thursday by former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign. Biden raised $15.2 million in the third quarter.
Warren’s campaign also reported she had over $25 million in cash on hand at the end of September, and was making its first paid ad buys of the cycle in the early states.
All in all, it validates the gamble Team Warren made in taking the big $10 million surplus she transferred from her Senate campaign account (which, for the record, she was able to raise without the no-big-dollar restrictions she’s placed on herself in her presidential fundraising) and investing it in expensive but vital field staff in the early states, in hopes that she would be able to pay for its maintenance and expansion as new money rolled in. At the moment, it’s all working for the Massachusetts senator, whose campaign seemed to be stalled earlier this year. The most recent polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, and even California and the latest big national poll (from Monmouth) all show her taking the lead. And aside from showing her overall financial strength, the third-quarter numbers indicate she’s keeping pace with Bernie Sanders’s small-dollar money machine, even as she has largely eclipsed him in the polls.
At the moment, you could say the Democratic race remains dominated by the Big Three of Warren, Biden, and Sanders (in whatever order you choose to rank them), with fundraising dominated by a Big Four (those three plus Pete Buttigieg, who raised $24 million in the second quarter and $19 million in the third). Everyone trailing these candidates in either metric needs to make a move soon as voters prepare to vote.