SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / CNN) — Sen. Kamala Harris raised a solid $12 million for her presidential campaign during the first fundraising quarter of the 2020 campaign season, her aides announced Monday night.
The California Democrat’s haul, disclosed the day after the close of the fundraising period, exceeds the $7 million announced earlier Monday by South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. They are the only 2020 contenders to reveal topline figures for the three-month period so far.
Details on candidates’ fundraising and spending are not due to federal election regulators until April 15, but candidates often provide totals as they jockey to demonstrate the financial strength of their campaigns.
In a news release, Harris said she had received 218,000 individual contributions during the first quarter and 98% percent of those contributions came in amounts smaller than $100. Small-dollar donors could prove crucial in a crowded Democratic primary because they can be tapped repeatedly for contributions before hitting the $2,800 limit on what an individual can donate to a candidate for the primary election.
Harris’ aides say that more than 99% of her current donors can contribute again without hitting the limit.
“A nationwide network of hundreds of thousands of grass-roots supporters has stepped up to lay the foundation for a winning campaign,” Harris campaign manager Juan Rodriguez said in a statement.
“This is a campaign powered by the people, focused on making health care a right, putting $500 a month in the pockets of working Americans, and giving every public school teacher in America a raise,” he said. “We’re excited by the support we’re already seeing.”
Harris did not disclose how much she has spent during the first three months of the year, nor how much cash she has remaining in the bank for the long primary fight.
It’s not known how the totals announced by Harris and Buttigieg compare with those of other candidates. But given the first-day hauls touted by two of their rivals, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke, they could be substantially outraised.
Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont who’s making his second bid for the presidency, previously announced raising $5.9 million during the first day of his campaign. His aides say he went on to raise $10 million within a week of his campaign kickoff.
O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who raised a record-setting $80 million in his unsuccessful bid for the Senate last year, has said he raised $6.1 million during the first 24 hours of his White House campaign.
In a video released Monday night, Buttigieg — until recently a little-known figure in national politics — called his first-quarter haul “a big deal.” He said more than 158,000 people had donated to his exploratory committee, with an average donation of $36.35.
The $7 million his campaign raised “is way ahead of what our original, initial goals were,” Buttigieg said. “About two months ago … most people had never heard of me.”
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