Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign raised $11.4 million in the last three months of 2019, enough to keep the Minnesota Democrat competitive but still well behind a handful of front-running rivals.
All told, Klobuchar has now raised more than $25 million since joining the presidential contest last Feb. 10, while outlasting several better-known Democrats who have dropped out.
Klobuchar outpaced her three previous quarterly fundraising totals, following a momentum bump from well-received debate performances in November and December, as well as the winnowing of the Democratic field. But the haul of more than $11 million, while more than double any of her previous quarterly cash gains, still left her trailing several rivals in the quarter: Sen. Bernie Sanders with $34.5 million, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg with $24.7 million, former Vice President Joe Biden with $22.7 million, and former tech executive Andrew Yang with $16.5 million.
“Our campaign has seen a massive surge in grassroots support and this has allowed us to make strategic campaign investments,” Klobuchar’s campaign manager, Justin Buoen, said in a prepared statement. The campaign said 92% of Klobuchar’s donors gave less than $200 and that the average online donation was $32.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump raised $46 million in the fourth quarter.
The latest tallies come as the Democratic contenders rev up for a long-anticipated series of state primary contests. The Iowa caucus is just over four weeks away, followed by an accelerating list of primaries and caucuses: first in New Hampshire, then Nevada and South Carolina. “Super Tuesday” looms March 3, when voters in 14 states including Minnesota will weigh in.
“If Amy’s going to make a strong showing in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and on Super Tuesday, we need to raise as much as possible NOW,” read a fundraising plea the campaign sent to supporters this week, before the Dec. 31 fourth-quarter deadline. “We have to end the year with more momentum than ever if we want to prove to the whole country that Amy’s going all the way to the White House.”
Recent polls of Iowa have found Klobuchar closer to cracking into a top four that consists of Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who as of Thursday had not yet released her quarter-four total.) Still, Klobuchar has consistently lagged the poll leaders. The last major poll of Iowa, which found Klobuchar at 10%, was taken Dec. 7 to 10, before the most recent Democratic debate. The recent absence of public polling in the Hawkeye State has made it tough to develop a clear sense of where candidates stand in the pivotal state.
Klobuchar’s latest fundraising numbers far outpace any of her previous three-month totals, the largest of which was $5.2 million.
Klobuchar’s campaign had said that she raised more than $1 million in the 24 hours that followed the most recent Democratic debate on Dec. 19. The Democratic candidates next debate on Jan. 14 in Des Moines; for now, only Klobuchar and the top four have qualified to participate.
Klobuchar’s chances count squarely on a strong showing in neighboring Iowa, a Midwestern state where past presidential caucuses have often helped elevate the prospects of small-state or underdog candidates.
Klobuchar’s campaign did not immediately release additional details of its fourth-quarter spending, or how much cash it has in the bank vs. what’s already been spent. But campaign officials have previously said they have ramped up their Iowa operations with 80 paid employees and 18 field offices in the state.
Klobuchar also has aired several television ads in Iowa. In recent weeks, she sprinted back and forth across the state as she rushed to campaign in all 99 counties by the end of the year. But Klobuchar has not ignored other early states: She spent the last three days of 2019 in New Hampshire, where she has built a substantial campaign team. On Saturday she is holding three “meet and greet” events in Nevada.
And the fundraising pleas keep rolling. “We need to raise $50,000 by midnight,” read a new appeal that hit inboxes Thursday afternoon.