The State of 2020 Democrat Campaign Fundraising


Geoffrey Dean

The 2020 Democratic race is heating up as the fifth debate approaches.

Geoffrey Dean, Chief Data Editor

With just a week remaining until the fifth Democratic primary debate, ten candidates are currently set to take the stage in Atlanta, Georgia. These candidates are the frontrunners former Vice President Joe Biden, senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. They will also be joined by senators Kamala Harris (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Cory Booker (NJ), along with congressional representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI), entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire Tom Steyer.

One of the main components of running a campaign and qualifying for debates is fundraising, and with higher qualification standards for the more recent debates (3% in four polls and 165,000 unique donors in November as opposed to 1% in three polls and 65,000 back in June), the pressure is on to raise more money. Below is a chart depicting the amount of space on each candidate’s campaign website that is dedicated to obtaining donor.*

This chart also takes into account national polling percentage in addition to available campaign funds, as these two variables would impact the need for aggressive campaigning. With an even more selective criterion for the sixth Democratic debate that will be held on December 19, it will be interesting to see if fringe candidates ramp up their fundraising push in an attempt to stay in the race.

† Defining a candidate as “frontrunner” is generally subjective. In this case, it was defined as candidates polling at over 10% in a reliable national poll and/or leading in an early state poll.

* This was calculated by taking the total pixel area of features such as “Donate” buttons or banners requesting campaign contributions, divided by the entire screen space on a MacBook Pro. This does not include temporary pages that pop-up upon navigating to the given site, assuming they can be closed. In cases where the percentage is equal to more than 100%, as with Andrew Yang, this is because there is more than one “screen” dedicated to gaining donors.