Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign banked $6 million in the first three months of 2019, her campaign announced Wednesday, and she now has $11 million in her campaign coffers after transferring money from her U.S. Senate campaign account.
The sum is substantially less than the three fundraising leaders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders banked $18.2 million, while California Sen. Kamala Harris raised $12 million and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised $9.4 million after just over two weeks in the race.
Warren, who has sworn off high-dollar fundraisers and one-on-one fundraising calls despite her success raising money from big donors in the past, also transferred $10.4 million from her Senate campaign account to her presidential bid. The average donation to her campaign was just $28, and she collected donations from just over 135,000 donors.
Roger Lau, Warren’s campaign manager, announced the totals in an email to supporters.
“We don’t have to match other candidates dollar for dollar, but we do need a strong enough grassroots base to be able to keep Elizabeth’s voice front and center in this race,” Lau wrote. “We do need to keep fighting to prove that we can build a presidential primary campaign without catering to the rich and powerful. Because we’ll keep this core principle: Every supporter has equal access and owns an equal piece of this campaign, no matter how much you donate. And every contribution makes a difference.”
In his email, Lau compared Warren’s fundraising to two candidates he leaves unnamed, noting they were able to raise more than Warren because they took more cash from high-dollar donors.
“Elizabeth decided not to do any closed-door events with wealthy donors, or call time where candidates typically call wealthy people and personally ask them to donate,” Lau wrote. “Ninety-nine percent of our donations were $200 or less. That isn’t a coincidence: that was by design.”
Warren’s totals are similar to those of South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $7 million in the first quarter, and of fellow Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Booker raised more than $5 million, while Klobuchar brought in $5.1 million ― though some of Klobuchar’s haul can only be spent in the general election.
The Massachusetts senator’s campaign also highlighted its success in the final week of the quarter, when Warren raised $1.4 million and received more than 50,000 donations. (Harris previously revealed she raised $1.1 million online in the final week.)
Warren’s numbers indicate she has already spent much of the cash she raised. She has hired more than 170 paid full-time staffers, with half of those deployed to the four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. She also spent nearly $640,000 on Facebook ads, the most of any candidate in the field, aiming to build up the size of her email fundraising list.
Warren’s $11 million in cash on hand total is difficult to compare to the rest of the field, many of whom have declined to release how much money they have in the bank. Sanders is the leader in that category: His campaign said it has $28 million on hand.
This story was updated with additional details about Warren’s fundraising and expenditures.