The 2020 election is coming up, and the Democratic Party is still trying to figure out who will face the president in the general election. A field of over two dozen candidates has narrowed down to eight – but, eventually, there can be only one.
For those interested in following the money in politics, the trail of campaign spending is complex, but interesting.
A lot has happened since former Vice President Joe Biden announced his presidential aspirations: gaffes, disappointing performances, and the rise of rivals. For the party establishment and the mainstream media, Biden remains the safe choice to take on President Donald Trump in November, which could explain the frustration over far-left contenders soaring to the top of the polls. Without at least second-place finishes in the next few contests, the path to a Biden victory may be disappearing.
Received: $61.038 million – Spending: $52.092 million – National Polling: 17.3%
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign declared that the primaries had become a two-man race between the billionaire and a socialist millionaire. But Bloomberg suffered during the Nevada debates. He did not compete in the Nevada caucuses, nor will he be on the ballot for the South Carolina primary. He has placed all his bets on the delegate rich Super Tuesday. Until then, he will continue to spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising in California, Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas. Can online, radio, and television ads be enough to drown out the terrible press he generated from his horrendous performance in the Nevada debate?
Received: $464.145 million – Spending: $409.006 million – National Polling: 15.2%
From mayor of a small town to formidable White House hopeful, Pete Buttigieg has certainly come out of nowhere. After a couple of excellent showings in the early stages of the primary season, Buttigieg hopes to sustain his momentum through the early voting states.
Received: $76.778 million – Spending: $62.259 million – National Polling: 10%
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) placed all her bets on New Hampshire and failed to make a dent in the voting. She is now concentrating on South Carolina, where she is polling at less than 2%. Should the lone anti-war voice in the primary be unable to capture a single delegate, she may concede defeat and finish the final few months of her last term in Congress serving the needs of her district.
Received: $13.705 million – Spending: $11.695 million – National Polling: 1.6%
When the primary season started, could anyone have imagined that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) would last this long? Can she continue her miraculous run, or will Buttigieg’s persistent finger-wag be enough to sink her efforts?
Received: $28.95 million – Spending: $23.976 million – National Polling: 6.7%
By now, it almost seems like Sen. Sanders against the world. The party establishment, the legacy press, and anyone who desperately wants to oust Trump are trying to keep Sanders from the nomination.
In the end, however, the media bias against his campaign could be helping him more than hurting him.
Received: $134.151 million – Spending: $121.980 million – National Polling: 28.7%
Unlike Bloomberg, who appears indifferent, Tom Steyer’s continual allusion to his respect and admiration for his rivals almost reeks of desperation to be welcomed into the fold. But his kind will never be given a hero’s welcome in the party: He is a billionaire who made his fortune on Wall Street and in the coal mining industry. Since even before he announced his candidacy, Steyer has been a one-issue candidate: impeaching President Trump. But the Democratic Party already possesses an enormous supply of those individuals.
Received: $206.286 million – Spending: $200.863 million – National Polling: 2.2%
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had been considered a top-tier candidate since day one of her campaign. However, following a couple of disastrous performances in the early stages, she has devolved into a mid-tier challenger at best. It might be premature to declare her candidacy dead, but she will need to appear in at least the top three on Super Tuesday to sustain her bid to become the first female president.
Received: $81.997 million – Spending: $68.282 million – National Polling: 12.7%