Sanders Says He Has More Donors Than Trump: Campaign Update

Sahil Kapur

(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders told supporters that his campaign has more donors than Donald Trump’s, and predicted he would raise more than $1 billion if he’s the Democratic nominee to challenge the president’s re-election this year.

The Vermont senator said in an email that his campaign surpassed 5 million individual donors in the fourth quarter and that he would draw 50 million individual contributions if he’s nominated.

“At $27 a piece, that would be more than $1 billion,” he said. “It’s absolutely obscene and outrageous that an election would cost that much money, but our campaign has proven we will be able to raise more than enough money to win.”

The email didn’t disclose his total fundraising for the quarter, but Sanders said that “our campaign has raised more money than any other campaign in this race and will raise more money than any campaign would against Donald Trump.”

Trump’s main re-election committee raised about $166 million through the end of September, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His campaign hasn’t yet reported fourth-quarter fundraising.

Bloomberg’s Ad Spending Tops $155 Million (11:12 a.m.)

Michael Bloomberg spent $155.3 million nationally on political ads in 2019, far outpacing fellow billionaire Tom Steyer and other Democratic presidential candidates gearing up for early caucus and primary contests beginning in February.

Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has bought $136.8 million worth of broadcast television time and $7.7 million on cable, according to data from Advertising Analytics, which tracks political ad spending. He spent an additional $10.8 million on digital ads.

The former New York mayor has spent $70.6 million more than Steyer, who is also relying on his personal fortune to fund his campaign. Bernie Sanders, the next biggest spender among Democrats, has purchased $19.3 million worth of paid media. President Donald Trump has spent about $30.3 million so far, mostly on digital ads.

Unlike his rivals, Bloomberg isn’t spending in Iowa and New Hampshire, and instead has focused on states holding their nominating contests later in the year. The campaign has made seven-figure purchases of air time in markets in the delegate-rich states of California, New York, Texas, Illinois and Florida.

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Buttigieg Raised $25 Million in Fourth Quarter (8:47 a.m.)

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign said the presidential candidate raised more than $24.7 million in the fourth quarter, giving the South Bend, Indiana mayor one of the largest war chests among those fighting for the Democratic nomination.

Buttigieg’s money came from 326,000 donors who gave an average of $33, the campaign said in a statement on Wednesday. His was the first campaign to release fourth-quarter fundraising totals.

Relying on a mix of in-person fundraisers and grassroots contributors, Buttigieg took in more than $76 million in 2019. He raised $19.2 million in the third quarter.

“These figures are even more astounding considering that Pete started this race less then a year ago as an unknown candidate, with just a few staffers and zero dollars in the bank,” campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said in a memo.

The campaign said its financial haul allowed it to increase its staff nationwide to 500 people. It’s opened 65 field offices in early caucus and primary states, including 35 in Iowa, where Buttigieg is narrowly leading in polls, according to an average compiled by RealClearPolitics.

COMING UP:

Five Democratic candidates -- Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar -- have qualified for the next debate, on Jan. 14 in Iowa.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Milwaukee on the same night as the debate, as well as a rally in Toledo on Jan. 9.

The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3.

--With assistance from Bill Allison.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Christopher Maloney

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