Politics: Big money, small donors, and burn rates: what to watch for in 2020 campaigns’ new fundraising reports - PressFrom - US

PoliticsBig money, small donors, and burn rates: what to watch for in 2020 campaigns’ new fundraising reports

16:40  15 april  2019
16:40  15 april  2019 Source:   vox.com

Warren raises $6 million in first quarter

Warren raises $6 million in first quarter The Massachusetts Democrat also burned through more than 85 percent of what she raised in the first quarter. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); While Warren has a comfortable cushion in the bank of funds left over from her Senate campaign fund, with nearly $11.2 million cash on hand, the early fundraising reveals that Warren is spending like a front-runner but isn’t yet raising money like one.

President Trump has broken with the precedent of his most of his predecessors campaigning and fund - raising for his CreditCreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times. WASHINGTON — President Trump has raised more than million for his re-election campaign over the last year and

Presidential hopefuls are set to file their first fundraising reports . The story they tell will be more nuanced than the story So many candidates talk as if they only raise money from small donors . What the heck is a burn rate ? It is how quickly candidates are burning through the cash that comes in.

Big money, small donors, and burn rates: what to watch for in 2020 campaigns’ new fundraising reports© Mario Tama/Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the 2020 Democratic primary field in fundraising.

Raising money used to be a behind-the-scenes part of politics. Now how much campaigns raise — and from whom — is a big part of the political message.

This week, each 2020 campaign’s financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, the regulatory agency that enforces campaign finance laws, become public. In other words, we will know just how much this packed field of presidential hopefuls is fundraising, where they’re spending, who their biggest donors are, and more.

Trump defender Devin Nunes raised a stunning $1.1 million-plus in the first quarter

Trump defender Devin Nunes raised a stunning $1.1 million-plus in the first quarter Rep. Devin Nunes raised more than $1.1 million for his 2020 reelection during the first three months of the year, notching another big haul in a fundraising hot streak that stretches back to last year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The California Republican, who now has $5 million in the bank, shared these figures with the Washington Examiner ahead of the April 15 Federal Election Commission first-quarter filing deadline.

When candidates raise money from small donors , they’re not typically spending much time doing Once a donor , people typically give again, especially after campaigns have captured their contact McCloskey said she expects she’ll contribute even more in 2020 than she did last cycle. “I get a lot of

But the packed fund - raising calendars, brisk political spending and trips to early primary states suggest that in fact a shadow campaign for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination is already well underway. In interviews, more than three dozen leading Democratic donors , fund-raisers and operatives agreed

Candidates have begun releasing selective pieces of information in advance of the Monday deadline. We already know that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is leading the pack, hauling in $18 million in donations, and that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she raised about a third of that. Some other campaigns aren’t talking about their fundraising numbers at all.

But now campaigns can’t hide how they’re doing. Legally, they need to log a record of their finances for the first quarter of 2019, January 1 to April 1, and this is the first real look into the guts of their operations. Here’s what you need to know to read these early filings.

Five things to look for when reading the FEC filings tea leaves

There are always a lot of numbers flying around when these reports come out.

2020 fundraising: Bernie Sanders still dominates with $18.2 million

2020 fundraising: Bernie Sanders still dominates with $18.2 million As more Democratic presidential candidates release fundraising totals for the first quarter of the year, no one comes close to the Vermont senator.

JUST WATCHED . Trump reveals his 'dream' 2020 opponent. Fundraising for presidential reelection campaign . In three less months of fundraising , Trump has Most donors like giving to the president -- it gives them a feeling of prestige and power that cutting a check to a House or even Senate candidate doesn't. The symbolic reason past presidents have avoided raising money in their first two years is

The first cut of the money raised goes to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign . Those contribution limits are likely to change because this fundraiser is so early that new In the first three months of this year, the Trump campaign raised more than million, through small donations and the sale of

1) How much money do they have — and how much can they actually use

Campaigns reveal three topline numbers. One is the total receipts, the sum of all the money they’ve raised and transferred to the campaign; another is total contributions; lastly is the campaign’s cash on hand.

Obviously, the headline figure is the total amount raised — although in the first quarter of a cycle, it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison because candidates announce at different times and some have had longer to raise money than others have.

Candidates may also be transferring money from Senate or House campaigns to their presidential campaigns. For example, while Sanders’s campaign has reported raising $18.2 million in contributions, it currently has $28 million in the bank, having transferred the additional cash from his Senate campaign.

The total receipts figure can also be inflated by raising money for a general election simultaneously: Invitations seen by Recode for events for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), for instance, show that she is at least sometimes raising up to $5,600 a head — primary and general election dollars — which could lead to a more eye-popping topline figure but isn’t relevant in assessing her competitiveness in the primary. Invitations obtained to Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) or Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) events, for instance, only show hosts committing to $2,800 checks, which means they’re only raising for the primary so far.

Trump campaign raised over $30 million in first quarter

Trump campaign raised over $30 million in first quarter President's re-election campaign topped the sum raised by the top two Democratic presidential campaigns combined , according to a campaign official. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Trump-Pence 2020 has more than $40.8 million on hand — a record haul for a presidential re-election campaign this far before the next election. Nearly 99 percent of donations were of $200 or less, with an average donation of $34.

The way campaigns are able to raise money has dramatically transformed over the past 20 years. The internet has exploded the possibilities for Barack Obama also used online donors to raise tens of millions of dollars, though he didn’t begin fundraising for his reelection bid until much later in his term.

CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times. The would-be candidates are cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors , courting conservative In most cases, the shadow candidates and their operatives have signaled that they are preparing only in case Mr. Trump is not available in 2020 .

While total contributors numbers can signal fundraising prowess and enthusiasm for a candidate, their “cash on hand” is the money that’s in the bank and can still be spent (it does not include outstanding debts). With candidates staring down two years of intense campaigning, what they have in the bank might make or break their competitiveness in the long run — but at this early point in the cycle, it’s really just about building a base of financial support.

To keep that in perspective, by the end of the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign had spent 98 percent of what it had raised, and Donald Trump’s campaign had spent 99 percent of what it had raised.

2) Whether the money is coming from big donors or small ones

The topline figure only tells you so much, though.

There’s a big difference between campaigns backed primarily by maxed-out donors, who are not a well that can be tapped again and again, and small-dollar givers, who could power a longer race. A lot of campaigns like to play games that spin with how much of their money comes from the latter.

Here’s the conventional gold standard: What percent of the total money raised comes from increments less than $200? We know the sum of those donations from the line that shares the total number of “unitemized” contributions in the FEC reports. Watch out for campaigns that parrot the percentage of their contributions that are less than $200 — which isn’t the same statistic (for instance, what if 50 people gave $1 but then one donor gave $2,800?) The sometimes self-reported “average contribution” figure can also tell you something.

Democrats raise $75M so far, signaling a drawn-out fight

Democrats raise $75M so far, signaling a drawn-out fight Fundraising totals for the first quarter of the 2020 election show Democratic presidential candidates bringing in a combined $75 million. That's less than the party raised during the same period ahead of the 2008 election _ and fundraising caps were lower back then.

GoFundMe: The most trusted free online fundraising platform. Start a successful crowdfunding campaign on George’s family raised k for a new wheelchair to get him moving again. A neighbor in West Virginia raised k Start fundraising today. More money raised online than anywhere else.

Small -dollar fundraising totals will be “the new straw poll” in 2019, said Taryn Rosenkranz, a Democratic digital consultant. Because of the “unprecedented volume” of online money expected to flow to Democrats in 2020 , Hill said she expects ActBlue to double its staff of 100 over the next two

And here’s why this all matters: If a campaign is funded primarily by $2,800 checks, then sure, it might have a burst of initial money, but unless those rich people are preparing to tap their network and bundle donations from other rich people (which they might!), it’s hard to keep that pace over a year-long primary. Compare that to a network of small-dollar givers who are willing to give $50 every month, or every time you have a viral moment, or every time you win a primary or caucus.

Having more money than less is better, but all other things being equal, candidates want fundraising numbers that look to be sustainable.

3) Are a lot of people donating?

Even if campaigns can’t boast the biggest topline numbers, some are already bragging about how many contributors they have. In many ways, this is the most important metric in the packed Democratic primary, where each candidate wants to show they have the biggest base of support in the field.

If you’re looking for an early read on candidates’ breadth of support that can’t be captured in polling, the total number of contributors (importantly, not contributions!) is a pretty good metric. In fact, reaching the threshold of 65,000 contributors is one of the criteria to qualify for the Democratic primary debates.

For example, when Beto O’Rourke jumped into the race, he raised more money than any other Democratic presidential candidate in the first 24 hours after announcing his 2020 bid, but he didn’t have as many donors as Sanders did. Sanders’s campaign sent out an email with the subject line: “Bad news: Beto outraised us. Good news: we probably had a lot more donations.”

9 Takeaways From the Biggest Reveal of the 2020 Money Race So Far

9 Takeaways From the Biggest Reveal of the 2020 Money Race So Far The Democratic challengers to President Trump raised tens of millions of dollars in the first months of the 2020 presidential campaign.

According to the campaign , the senator beat his own fundraising record in March. His campaign said it raised 97 percent of the money this year online and less than 5 percent from donors who gave the But in Sanders' delegate-rich home state of New York, recent polling shows Clinton leading by

The Fundraising Report Card® is really, truly free. Add unlimited donation records, and view key performance metric reports in seconds. We encourage uploading lists centered around specific campaigns and appeals so that you can analyze performance on a per campaign basis.

And they were right — Sanders so far has been dominating the Democratic primary in terms of total donors, announcing 525,000 individual contributors.

4) Notable donors to watch for

To be sure, not all donors are created equal. We’ll also be scouting the reports for any particularly notable names who have cut major checks to Democratic candidates since it shows how some elites are judging various aspirants.

Has Booker succeeded in turning his Silicon Valley connections into boldfaced backers? Do Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) ties to Wall Street financiers still pay off? And how many of the Democratic Party’s most established megadonors — think George Soros, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, or Dustin Moskovitz — remain on the sidelines in this sprawling field?

With very few candidate-specific Super PACs and more ability than ever to raise money online, money from these donors doesn’t always mean what it once did. But support from high-dollar donors is revealing of both whom the party establishment sees as its candidate and who could have staying power in the race even if they fall out of the mainstream conversation and can no longer draw on small-dollar donors.

5) How quickly candidates are spending their money

Some of the most interesting data in FEC reports is the revelations about how various campaigns are spending their money — snapshots into the guts of how a campaign is organized and what it’s prioritizing. How big a staff has a candidate built? Which previously hidden Democratic heavyweight is quietly on the payroll of a campaign? And yeah, you might be raising tons of money, but are you spending tons to raise it with costly list rentals or consulting fees?

"You gotta raise the damn money": Dems fear Trump's fundraising

"The fact is that for Donald Trump, the campaign is happening todaywe can't let him have an open playing field"

No -- the money Stein is raising for the recount goes into a completely separate account that’s What happens to leftover funds ? When the fundraising plea was first posted to Stein’s website, it Usually, FEC guidelines say campaigns need to go back to their donors and ask if they would be willing to

Trump started reelection fundraising years earlier than any president in modern American history. In exchange for a contribution to the president’s 2020 reelection campaign , donors can buy Trump “Normally the president is the big fish in the pond, and he doesn’t want to get in the way of everybody

That last question reveals a so-called “burn rate,” or how lean an operation runs. Early on in a race, you generally want to see a thrifty operation that is spending money responsibly. But what the cash is being spent on also matters — is it on field operatives who directly engage with voters, or television ad makers pulling in pricey monthly retainers?

The money-in-politics game has changed

The politics of money in politics has shifted dramatically over the past two election cycles.

In 2016, Republicans and their allied Super PACs raced in a dollar-for-dollar, donor-by-donor rivalry to build the largest possible war chest during the primary. Then-candidate Trump made waves by claiming to self-fund his Republican primary campaign — and beat them all.

By the end of the 2016 presidential primary, the country was well aware that Sanders’s average campaign donation was $27. Sanders popularized running without corporate PAC donations — something almost all 2020 contenders have felt pressure to conform to.

Warren has taken this pledge even further in the 2020 election cycle, swearing off high-dollar fundraisers and phone calls with wealthy donors during the primary, saying her campaign “will be run on the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it.”

She’s getting at the core of what campaign finance reform activists see as wrong with the American political system; as Jeff Stein wrote for Vox in 2016, the problem with big money in politics “is not that it creates a quid pro quo in which donors are transactionally rewarded for their gifts, but that it elevates the priorities of the wealthy across the board.”

It helps that that’s an incredibly politically popular talking point; a 2018 Pew Research Center report found that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 77 percent — thought there should be limits on the amount of money “individuals and organizations” can spend on political campaigns. Sixty-five percent of Americans said new laws should be written to reflect that. House Democrats, when they took back the majority in 2018, even made campaign finance reform their first piece of legislation.

That said, this has been a push and pull in the Democratic Party at large. In 2016, the Democratic National Committee did away with the Obama-era ban on corporate PAC donations. The DNC voted against reinstating the ban for the 2020 presidential cycle.

The 2020 candidate’s first FEC filings is an early look at how they are translating this rhetoric around money and politics into actual campaign practice.

Republican National Committee raises $15.5 million in March.
But the RNC spent almost as much.

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