The wine-cave circuit certainly has its benefits: On New Year’s Day, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign announced that it had raised $24.7 million in the fourth quarter, finishing out an impressive year of fundraising for the former South Bend mayor.
In 2019, Buttigieg raised $76 million, and he’s currently polling in fourth in the race, with 8.3 percent. (Polls from December state that he’s leading the field in New Hampshire and Iowa.) Other candidates have yet to release fourth-quarter data — the Federal Election Commission deadline is January 31 — but Buttigieg upped his third quarter haul of $19.2 million and nearly matched his second-quarter best of $24.7 million. As of the end of Q3, Bernie Sanders led all candidates with $61.5 million, followed by Buttigieg with $51.5 million, Elizabeth Warren with $49.8 million, and Joe Biden with $37.6 million.
In December, Buttigieg took substantial criticism for courting wealthy donors in a primary that has largely eschewed their influence. (Sanders and Warren have avoided the big-ticket fundraisers that have dominated past election cycles, though Biden has connected with traditional campaign sources on Wall Street.) In response, Buttigieg announced he would open bundler dinners like the fateful get-together in Napa Valley to the press. In the spirit of campaign gimmicks, his campaign also advertised a competition encouraging supporters to contribute the smallest amount, in an apparent attempt to bring down the amount of his average donation. In the announcement on Wednesday, his campaign boasted of 2 million donations from over 733,000 people since entering the race, with 326,000 individuals donating in the fourth quarter alone, with an average of around $34.
Though Buttigieg is the only candidate to reveal his full fundraising for the fourth quarter so far, other Democrats have released some discrete numbers. On Wednesday, Bernie Sanders stated that his campaign has received over 5 million donations since entering the race in February, while Elizabeth Warren announced earlier in December that she had brought in over $17 million, in an attempt to boost fundraising for the remainder of the year.