Elizabeth Warren raises $21.2 million in the fourth quarter after warning about a decline in donations

Key Points
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren finished the fourth quarter raising $21.2 million after she warned that her fundraising operation was on the brink of a 30% decline.
  • The fourth-quarter haul is less than Warren's third-quarter success of $24.6 million, and she's behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., talks during a round table discussion with childcare providers at her campaign event at Wise and Wonderful Daycare and Preschool in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 27, 2019.
Dai Sugano | The Mercury News | Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren finished the fourth quarter raising $21.2 million, her campaign said Friday, days after she warned that her fundraising operation was 30% behind the pace of the previous three-month period.

After saying the campaign was on the verge of raising $17 million for the quarter, it came back to have its best day of fundraising on the final day of the year, Warren campaign manger Roger Lau said in an announcement email.

"We beat our goal [$20 million] and raised more than $21.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. And 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," he said. A Warren campaign aide said the organization raised $4 million in the final five days of the quarter.

The haul, however, is less than her third-quarter total of $24.6 million. And, for the fourth quarter, she's behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's campaign said Friday she raised $11 million in fourth quarter, more than doubling her previous haul.

Warren's disclosure came a day after Sanders said he raised more than $34 million, and Biden said he raised just under $23 million.

Buttigieg's campaign said Wednesday that he had raised nearly $25 million in the quarter.

President Donald Trump, who is practically assured the Republican Party's nomination next year, racked up $46 million in donations during the fourth quarter, his campaign said Thursday.

Lau said the strong finish came down to the backing of grassroots donors, with over 443,000 people giving to Warren and those contributors combining to make almost 900,000 donations. Their average donation was $23.

At one point last year, Warren was virtually neck-and-neck with Biden at the top of national polling averages. But as the fourth quarter came to a close, she has fallen back to third place behind Sanders, according to Real Clear Politics.

Warren has run her fundraising operation by turning to small-dollar donations while distancing herself from big-money donors. She has repeatedly clashed with other candidates, including Buttigieg, on their methods of raising money through Wall Street financiers and Silicon Valley executives.

Since entering the race in February, Warren's campaign has focused on eliminating wealth inequality. She's proposed taxing the wealth of multimillionaires and billionaires to pay for programs like "Medicare for All" and student loan forgiveness.

Her wealth tax plan has made her a target of Wall Street. Billionaire financier Leon Cooperman wrote an open letter to the senator, attacking her "soak-the-rich positions."

How the 2020 presidential candidates' Q4 fundraising numbers shape up
How the 2020 presidential candidates' Q4 fundraising numbers shape up