- In this Sept. 13, 2019 file photo, Democratic
presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks
during a campaign stop at the Carson City Community
Center Gymnasium in Carson City, Nev.
WASHINGTON — Bernie
Sanders raked in $25.3 million over the past three months,
putting him on top of the Democratic presidential
fundraising field for now. But in a sign of what he and
his rivals are up against, President Donald Trump and his
allies raised $125 million.
Other leading Democrats,
including former Vice President Joe Biden and
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have yet to reveal
their fundraising figures for the third quarter.
But the staggering sum on
the Republican side, which was split between the Trump
campaign and the Republican National Committee, highlights
the cash gulf between Democrats and the GOP. It could
revive anxieties among Democrats that a protracted primary
featuring nearly 20 candidates could be counterproductive
while Trump builds a massive cash advantage that can be
used against the ultimate nominee.
"This is a (ton) of
money," Bakari Sellers, a top surrogate for
California Sen. Kamala Harris, tweeted in reference to
Trump's fundraising. Although activists who contribute
small amounts online have been widely celebrated, he said
that won't stand up to the Trump operation. "Small
dollar donations alone ain't going to save our
Sanders posted the largest
quarterly sum for a Democratic White House hopeful this
year. The haul ensures the Vermont senator will be an
enduring presence in the primary even as Warren and Biden
have surpassed him in some polls. Much of the money he
raised came from his army of small-dollar online
Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg,
who entered the race as the little-known mayor of South
Bend, Indiana, pulled in $19.1 million. That's an almost
$6 million dip from his field-leading sum last quarter but
a figure that's all but certain to place him in the top
Now the question turns to
how much money Biden and Warren raised during the third
quarter. The former vice president and the Massachusetts
senator are in an increasingly close race for first place,
according to several polls.
There's a growing sense of
urgency for the White House hopefuls as the primary
becomes a fierce battle for a limited pool of cash. In the
days and hours before Monday's deadline, they pleaded for
money, making appeals on social media and collectively
blasting out more than 80 emails asking supporters to
"chip in" $5, $10 or $50. The third-quarter
figures have to be reported to the Federal Election
Commission by Oct. 15.
Those outside the top tier
are facing pressure to post competitive numbers or get
out. They will not only face challenges paying for
advertising to amplify their message, but are also likely
to struggle reaching fundraising thresholds set by the
Democratic National Committee to qualify for future
"If you are being
outraised 3-to-1 by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or
Joe Biden, you have no viable path to victory," said
Rufus Gifford, Barack Obama's former finance director.
"Even if you can compete in the early states ...
shortly thereafter you will run out of money."
Over the summer, Harris
kept up an aggressive fundraising schedule to stockpile
the cash needed to build up her operation in early states.
Yet she did not improve on her past performance amid a
series of stumbles and restarts. The $11.6 million she
reported raising keeps virtually even with her totals from
each of the past two quarters, suggesting she hasn't
caught on with much of the party's activist donor base.
Still, it's enough to keep
her in contention in the months to come, and Harris'
campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, said they were
"built to win this primary."
Others face dimmer odds.
Cory Booker recently warned
that unless he juiced his fundraising numbers by an
additional $1.7 million he'd likely have to drop out. The
New Jersey senator announced Tuesday he was
"proud" of his team for surpassing the goal
while pulling in a total of $6 million for the quarter.
But campaign manager Addisu
Demissie then issued a memo stating they'd have to do even
better and raise $3 million by the end of October.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock,
who has also struggled to raise money, is applying for
public financing, turning to a fund that is replenished by
those who volunteer to chip in $3 from their taxes. He
hopes it will supplement his campaign with a $2 million
boost, though the FEC board does not currently have enough
commissioners to sign off on the request.
The third quarter came to a
close as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry in Congress
related to his attempts to get the Ukrainian government to
investigate Biden. The development has scrambled politics
in Washington but has turned into a fundraising rallying
cry for both major political parties.
Trump has turned his
outrage over the inquiry into a flood of campaign cash.
Trump and the RNC reported raising $13 million in the
three days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the
probe last week. And Trump's son Eric tweeted later that
the total grew to $15 million.
That's a source of worry
for some Democrats.
"Trump's presidency is
wounded but not mortally wounded, and their operation is
as good as it gets," Gifford said.
Bernie Sanders has heart
procedure, cancels campaign events
WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders'
campaign said Wednesday that the Democratic presidential
candidate had a heart procedure for a blocked artery and
was canceling events and appearances "until further
The 78-year-old Sanders experienced chest discomfort
during an event Tuesday and sought medical evaluation,
according to a campaign statement. It said two stents
were "successfully inserted" and that Sanders "is
conversing and in good spirits."
Sanders’ wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, was en route to Las
Vegas on Wednesday and said in an email to The
Associated Press that her husband was “doing really
The Democratic field’s oldest candidate, Sanders
sometimes jokingly refers to his age at town halls and
other events, especially when interacting with younger
participants. His aides have tried to project him as a
candidate with energy levels that surpassed his 2016
He is one of three candidates over age 70 in the
Democratic primary, which has spurred debate over
whether the party should rally behind a new generation
of political leaders. His health scare is certain to
revive that discussion in the weeks before the next
presidential debate this month.
Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, was on a
telephone call with supporters Tuesday night but didn't
mention any health concerns about the candidate. Shakir
said the "state of the campaign is strong" and he played
up Sanders' strong fundraising total for the third
quarter. The Vermont Senator’s campaign raised $25
million, the highest among the candidates who have
reported so far, and scheduled its first television ads
in Iowa. On Wednesday, it suspended those spots, too.
Sanders had been among 10 Democratic candidates
scheduled to appear later Wednesday at a forum on gun
control in Las Vegas. He recently canceled some
appearances in South Carolina because he lost his voice.
The campaign said at the time he felt fine.
During the first debate in June, Sanders heatedly
defended his 76-year-old rival, Joe Biden, after
California Rep. Eric Swalwell, 38, said it was time to
step aside for a new generation. Sanders told reporters
later the question smacked of “ageism.”
“The issue is, who has the guts to take on Wall Street,
to take on the fossil fuel industry, to take on the big
money interests who have unbelievable influence over the
economic and political life of this country?” Sanders
said on the stage that night.
The hospitalization also comes as Sanders’ campaign has
been trying to turn a corner after a summer that saw him
eclipsed as the premier liberal in the field by
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 70. Sander has
dropped well behind Warren and Biden in most polls and
recently reshuffled his staffing in early states to
become more competitive.
“Given his recent stalls in the polls, the timing is
pretty bad here,” Democratic strategist Jim Manley said
of Sanders’ heart procedure.
Sanders’ rivals were quick to wish him well. “We want to
send our best wishes for a quick recovery to @BernieSanders
today,” tweeted Julian Castro, an Obama administration
housing chief. Added Sen. Kamala Harris of California:
``If there's one thing I know about him, he's a fighter
and I look forward to seeing him on the campaign trail
Sanders’ 2016 campaign nearly overtook Hillary Clinton
for the party’s nomination. He is a top contender in the
2020 primary, and announced Tuesday that he raised more
than $25 million over the past three months. But he is
facing stiff competition from former Vice President Joe
Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have
overtaken him in many polls.
Sanders is not the first candidate to face health issues
in recent years while seeking the presidency. Clinton
had to take time off from campaigning in 2016 after
being treated for pneumonia.
In 2000, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, the
leading Democratic challenger to then-Vice President Al
Gore, had to cut short a campaign swing for treatment of
an atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that is
treatable but potentially serious. Bradley later resumed
In Sanders’ case, when doctors insert a stent, they
first thread a tiny balloon inside a blocked artery to
widen it. The stent is a small wire mesh tube that then
is propped inside to keep the artery open. The number of
stents needed depends on the size of the clog.
The treatment can immediately improve symptoms such as
chest pain or shortness of breath. The stents are
threaded into place through blood vessels in the groin
or wrist, requiring only a tiny incision. Most are
coated with medication to prevent the targeted artery
from reclosing. That is still a risk, requiring
monitoring, and patients also often are prescribed blood
thinners to prevent clots from forming in the stents.
A letter released by Sanders’ physician in 2016 cited a
history of mildly elevated cholesterol but no heart
Zeke Miller and Will Weissert in Washington, DC and
Wilson Ring in Burlington, Vermont contributed to this