Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s presidential campaign announced Friday morning that it raised $21.2 million in the final quarter of 2019, falling several million dollars short of what it raised in the prior quarter over the summer.
According to the Warren campaign, the donations came from over 443,000 people who made around 900,000 contributions, and the average donation was $23. In 2019, the Warren campaign said it raised more than $71 million from close to one million people. An aide also told CNN that the campaign had its strongest end-of-the-quarter haul, raising more than $4 million in the final five days of December.
“We saw a strong surge of support at the end — over $1.5 million came in on the last day of the year alone, our best fundraising day to date,” Warren campaign manager Roger Lau said in an email to supporters.
The total fourth quarter figure puts Warren well behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign announced Thursday that it raised a whopping $34.5 million in the same stretch spanning October through December of last year. Warren’s three-month total also fell short of that of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose fourth-quarter haul was $24.7 million, as well as that of former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign said it raised $22.7 million.
Warren’s highest fundraising period last year was the third quarter, when she raised $24.6 million — a haul that coincided with Warren’s surge in political momentum. In more recent months, the Massachusetts Democrat has seen a lag in her poll numbers, appearing to take a hit after she struggled to explain — and took heat from her rivals and critics over — her support for “Medicare for All.”
The Warren campaign hinted it was lagging on the fundraising front when, in a fundraising note at the end of December, it asked supporters to help get Warren over the $20 million mark in the fourth quarter. In that email, the campaign said she had raised around $17 million. “Now, we don’t have to match what we raised last quarter — and we probably won’t,” the email also said.
When asked about her Democratic rivals’ fundraising hauls Thursday afternoon, Warren said she was “grateful” for all of her grassroots donors.
“I didn’t spend one single minute selling access to my time to millionaires and billionaires,” she told reporters in Concord, New Hampshire. “I did this grassroots all across the country. And I’m proud of the grassroots army that we’re building. I’m happy.”
Like Sanders, Warren has sworn off of high-dollar fundraisers and solicitations for her presidential campaign. The Massachusetts senator has built her candidacy around the theme of rooting our corruption and money in politics, and has touted her grassroots support and donations over the last year.
While Warren has mostly declined to attack her Democratic rivals directly as a candidate, she notably spoke out multiple times against Buttigieg in December for his fundraising practices. In the last debate, Warren went after Buttigieg for holding a fundraiser with donors at a so-called “wine cave” in California. Buttigieg shot back, slamming her for having held similar big-dollar fundraisers in the past for her Senate campaign.
“This is about issuing purity tests that you yourself cannot pass,” Buttigieg said.
Warren told reporters in Iowa after the debate that she didn’t think voters were looking for “purity.”
“So I think what’s important is what direction are we taking this in, you know,” she said. “I don’t think the American people are looking for purity. I think they’re looking for someone who’s trying, trying to make this system better and that’s what I’m doing.”