Donald Trump fundraising January

Trump Campaign Raises Millions More Than Dems — Says Impeachment Created ‘Unstoppable Juggernaut’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign raised $46 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a major haul that was boosted by a surge of donations in the wake of the Democrats’ impeachment bid, a senior campaign official said on Thursday.

The sum gives Trump a fundraising edge over a host of Democrats battling for their party’s nomination, with the first contest to be held in Iowa in little more than a month. The Democratic nominee will face Trump in the November election.

The Trump campaign begins the 2020 re-election year with cash on hand of $102.7 million, the official told Reuters, an amount that will help his bid to compete in more states beyond those that carried him to his improbable victory in 2016.

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the campaign felt that Trump’s strong fundraising was a direct result of his decision to keep his campaign apparatus alive after taking office in January 2017.

Trump filed for re-election shortly after assuming office, allowing the campaign to keep functioning, a break from the tradition of winding it down after the election.

The $46 million for the fourth quarter was the amount raised only by the Trump re-election campaign. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence typically headline fundraising events that benefit both the campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The amount raised by the RNC for the fourth quarter of 2019 is expected to be released soon. Trump and the RNC had together raised more than all the Democratic contenders in past periods, pulling in $125 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Trump’s re-election campaign raised a total of $143 million in all of 2019 and banked $83.4 million of it. It had begun the year with $19.3 million cash on hand.

The $102.7 million in cash on hand exceeds the $81.8 million the campaign of Democratic President Barack Obama had when he began his re-election year at the end of 2011, the official said.

An impeachment windfall for Trump campaign fundraising

Trump, a polarizing president popular among Republicans but vilified by Democrats, saw a surge of donations during the effort to oust him through impeachment in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Trump’s strong quarter “is testament to his wide grassroots support and his stellar record of achievement on behalf of the American people,” his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement.

“Democrats and the media have been in a sham impeachment frenzy and the president’s campaign only got bigger and stronger with our best fundraising quarter this cycle,” he added.

“The president’s war chest and grassroots army make his re-election campaign an unstoppable juggernaut.”

The Democrats try to keep up

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, raised more than $34.5 million in the last quarter of 2019, his presidential campaign said on Thursday, the largest three-month haul of any Democrat so far.

The announcement, which brings his total fundraising last year to $96 million, appears to confirm Sanders’ position as the leading fundraiser in the nominating contest, in which states begin caucusing and voting next month. Some candidates have not yet disclosed their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers.

Sanders, who wants to reduce the sway of corporate America, has built his campaign on small donations, largely through online fundraising from an ethnically diverse and mostly young coalition of supporters.

Campaign manager Faiz Shakir said Sanders’ “grassroots movement” showed he was he best placed candidate to defeat Trump.

“He is proving each and every day that working class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy,” Shakir said in a statement.

As serious as a heart attack

Sanders, 78, bounced back from a heart attack in early October to win growing support for his platform of expanding government-run healthcare, free college and investment in renewable energy paid for with higher taxes on the wealthy.

Sanders said this week that about 1.3 million Americans had donated to his campaign.

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His campaign said the most common occupation among Sanders’ fourth-quarter donors was teacher, and the most common employers were Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, the U.S. Postal Service and Target.

Sanders is polling second in most national opinion polls behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana — who is polling behind Biden, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — raised $24.7 million in the fourth quarter, an increase on previous periods.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Simon Lewis; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Gerry Doyle)

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