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Presidential candidates raising the most for their campaigns

  • Presidential candidates raising the most for their campaigns

    As the United States barrels toward the first primaries and caucuses for the 2020 presidential election, candidates are focused on fundraising and donations more than ever. Whether the money comes from grassroots campaigning, large donors from wealthy individuals and large corporations, or straight out of pocket, funds are the blood that keeps a national campaign alive and healthy. This is money that goes into payments for staff, consultants, and others who work for campaigns in an official capacity. These funds contribute to travel expenses as candidates attempt to share their message to the entire country. From a practical standpoint, this money also goes into communication, usually via advertisements. These come in the form of television ads, billboards, lawn signs, merchandise, and direct mail.

    However, the election cycle has come to a point where voters are asking for transparency and accountability when it comes to campaign financing. With special interest groups and donors investing large amounts of cash into political campaigns, ethical concerns are raised, and the motives and views of candidates are called into question depending on who is financing them. With that in mind, the public can take advantage of websites such as OpenSecrets, and the official regulatory body of the Federal Election Commission. Using information from OpenSecrets, Stacker compiled a list of 2020 presidential candidates that are raising the most money for their campaigns, from the lowest figures to the highest.

    This list is ranked by the total amount of money raised in the second quarter by both the candidate’s campaign itself and by outside groups. However, this list only applies to candidates who are still currently in the race, have raised sufficient funds, and have their fundraising information currently available. As a result, Mark Sanford (R) is not represented in this gallery.

    Read on to see how much money your favorite candidate has raised so far.

    You may also like: Presidential candidates spending the most on their campaigns

    [Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Sudduth Coliseum on Oct. 11, 2019, in Lake Charles, La., 2019.]

  • #22. Wayne Messam (D)

    - Total raised: $93,818
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $93,818
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $31,151
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $27,923
    --- Large individual contributions: $65,895
    --- PAC contributions: $0
    --- Candidate self-financing: $0
    --- Other: $0

    Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam announced his run for the presidency in March 2019 at a rally at Florida Memorial University. It's been a roller coaster for the former football player and businessman since, between April reports of his staffers not receiving their paychecks, a financial report filing during Spring 2019 that mistakingly doubled his campaign contributions, and reported third-quarter earnings of just $5, according to filings with the FEC.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate and Miramar, Fla., mayor Wayne Messam attends a meet and greet event in Goffstown, N.H., 2019.]

  • #21. Joe Walsh (R)

    - Total raised: $234,746
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $234,746
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $115,430
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $64,378
    --- Large individual contributions: $64,810
    --- PAC contributions: $0
    --- Candidate self-financing: $100,000
    --- Other: $5,803

    Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in August 2019 announced his candidacy for president while a guest on ABC's "This Week." One of the few Republicans to take on President Trump in the 2020 election, Walsh has based his campaign on what he sees as Trump's disloyalty to the American people. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband, lawyer George Conway, on Aug. 30 donated $5,600 to Walsh's campaign, according to FEC filings.

    [Pictured: Republican presidential candidate and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C., 2011.]

  • #20. Tim Ryan (D)

    - Total raised: $1,296,884
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $1,296,884
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $158,349
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $425,717
    --- Large individual contributions: $835,423
    --- PAC contributions: $53,356
    --- Candidate self-financing: $0
    --- Other: $0

    Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan faces a few daunting obstacles in his bid beyond his noticeably low funds. Several polls of Democratic voters have Ryan at 1% or lower, and he is pushing a progressive form of politics—pro-life and sustainable farming—unusual for his blue-collar, agricultural, Midwestern constituency, much of which voted for Trump in the last cycle.

    [Pictured: Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan speaks at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, 2019.]

  • #19. Bill Weld (R)

    - Total raised: $1,318,599
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $1,318,599
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $208,044
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $403,020
    --- Large individual contributions: $737,558
    --- PAC contributions: $0
    --- Candidate self-financing: $180,800
    --- Other: $0

    Bill Weld, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997, is running a long-shot campaign against incumbent Donald Trump that thus far has mainly attracted retiree Republicans disillusioned with the current president. Weld’s fundraising hasn’t reached any outside groups and more than 10% of his campaign is self-financed. Weld in mid-October encouraged New Hampshire Democrats to re-register as "Undeclared" so they can cast a vote against Trump and for Weld in the country's first primary of 2020 on Feb. 11.

    [Pictured: Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld delivers campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, 2019.]

  • #18. Marianne Williamson (D)

    - Total raised: $3,036,843
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $3,036,843
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $547,892
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $2,005,513
    --- Large individual contributions: $1,060,237
    --- PAC contributions: $0
    --- Candidate self-financing: $0
    --- Other: $2,300

    Author Marianne Williamson is a political outsider and has depended mostly on small individual donations. Most of Williamson’s campaign funds have come out of large metropolitan areas, namely the Los Angeles and New York City areas. The largest contributions to her long-shot campaign have mainly come from health professionals, with Williamson making health care and wellness a focus of her stump speeches and debate performances.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate and self-help author Marianne Williamson speaks at the Polk County Democrats' Steak Fry, 2019.]

  • #17. Joe Sestak (D)

    - Total raised: $3,712,860
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $3,712,860
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $204,561
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $84,690
    --- Large individual contributions: $281,603
    --- PAC contributions: $5,103
    --- Candidate self-financing: $2,800
    --- Other: $0

    U.S. Navy veteran Joe Sestak served two terms as a representative for Pennsylvania's 7th District between 2007 and 2011. The 67-year-old wants to expand health coverage, including accessibility for mental health, and lower costs. He plans to carve out a reasonable path for citizenship, aggressively address climate change, and, based on his service background—which differentiates him from the other nominees—breathe fresh life into the party.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak speaking with attendees at the Iowa Federation of Labor Convention in Altoona, Iowa, 2019]

  • #16. Steve Bullock (D)

    - Total raised: $4,316,090
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $4,316,090
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $1,366,144
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $1,420,833
    --- Large individual contributions: $2,938,937
    --- PAC contributions: $2,100
    --- Candidate self-financing: $0
    --- Other: $0

    As the Democratic governor of Montana, a red state that Donald Trump won in 2016, Steve Bullock has spoken up against “dark money” and Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that made way for the rise of Super PACs. Shut out of the most recent debate due to a lack of funding and polling, Bullock instead is relying on in-person meetings in swing states and cable news facetime to stay afloat in a race where he believes there is “very, very soft support” for Democratic leaders.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaks at the Polk County Democrats' Steak Fry, 2019.]

  • #15. Michael Bennet (D)

    - Total raised: $5,610,468
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $5,610,468
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $1,863,600
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $1,675,259
    --- Large individual contributions: $3,235,302
    --- PAC contributions: $4,807
    --- Candidate self-financing: $2,800
    --- Other: $700,000

    A United States senator from Colorado for a decade now, Michael Bennet has aired frustration over his exclusion from recent, televised debates. Bennet is shining a spotlight on healthcare, education, and climate change; but his most notable plan is for tackling housing segregation and the extreme lack of affordable options, in part by expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Credit and offering refundable mortgages for low-income families.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Michael Bennet speaks during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention, 2019.]

  • #14. Julian Castro (D)

    - Total raised: $7,503,011
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $7,503,011
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $672,333
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $4,990,791
    --- Large individual contributions: $2,605,878
    --- PAC contributions: $19,363
    --- Candidate self-financing: $0
    --- Other: $0

    Julian Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary and mayor of San Antonio, believes in Medicare for All and, as a self-identifying immigrant, plans to address immigration in a way that finally puts Bush- and Trump-era laws in the rearview. In April 2019, Castro became the first nominee to release a detailed immigration plan that seeks to ease the path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to America as children.

    Like many other candidates, however, his campaign is threatened by fundraising thresholds: Castro on Oct. 21 announced that he had 10 days to raise $800,000 for his campaign in order to stay in the race.

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro speaks at the SEIU Unions for All Summit, 2019.]

  • #13. Tulsi Gabbard (D)

    - Total raised: $9,003,179
    --- Total raised by candidate committee: $9,003,179
    --- Total raised by outside groups: $0
    - Total cash on hand: $2,138,491
    - Sources of funding:
    --- Small individual contributions (less than $200): $4,215,905
    --- Large individual contributions: $2,327,612
    --- PAC contributions: $1,000
    --- Candidate self-financing: $75
    --- Other: $2,500,018

    Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who served as a Hawaiian congresswoman, is anti-war and anti-interventionist, arguing against the idea of America as world police. She attacked the defense budget and Trump’s failure to remove troops from Syria, calling for wasted trillions to be directed toward “domestic needs like health, education, [and] infrastructure;” and called Hillary Clinton "the queen of warmongers."

    [Pictured: Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard addresses the crowd at the Blue Jamboree, 2019.]

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