Author

David Luchs

David Luchs is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at david.luchs@ballotpedia.org

Four presidential candidates raised a combined $80 million in February

Bernie Sanders led presidential candidates in fundraising in February 2020, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Friday. Sanders raised $47.7 million in February, while Joe Biden raised $18.1 million. On the Republican side, Donald Trump raised $14.2 million and Roque De La Fuente raised $50,000.

As of the February 29, 2020, reporting cutoff, Trump led the four presidential candidates in cash on hand with $94.4 million. Sanders followed with $18.7 million, while Biden had $12.1 million and De La Fuente $4.8 million.

President Trump’s $232 million in fundraising to date is 19.6% more than the inflation-adjusted $190 million President Barack Obama had raised at this point in his 2012 re-election campaign. According to Republican National Committee (RNC) finance reports filed Friday, Trump and the RNC have raised a combined $851 million. At this point in the 2012 election cycle, Obama and the Democratic National Committee had raised an inflation-adjusted $606 million.

Since the start of the election cycle, Biden and Sanders have raised a combined $270 million to Trump and De La Fuente’s combined $246 million. Biden and Sanders have a combined $30.8 million in cash on hand to Trump and De La Fuente’s $99.3 million. The four candidates have raised a cumulative $516 million since the beginning of the election.



RNC outraises DNC for tenth consecutive month, five other party committees report highest fundraising of the cycle

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for a tenth consecutive month. The RNC’s $26.2 million raised fell just short of the $27.3 million the group raised during September 2019.

Further, five of the six top party committees reported their largest per-month fundraising hauls of the cycle to date. Both updates come according to March 2020 campaign finance reports filed with the FEC Friday.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $11.2 million and spent $6.0 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $8.9 million and spent $8.7 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 10.1% more than the DSCC ($88.9 million to $80.4 million). The NRSC’s 10.1% fundraising advantage is up from 8.4% in February and 7.3% in January.

On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $17.1 million and spent $6.8 million, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $15.1 million and spent $6.8 million. So far in the cycle, the DCCC has raised 30.9% more than the NRCC ($154 million to $113 million). The DCCC’s 30.9% fundraising advantage is down from 33.4% in February and 37.8% in January.

At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although their advantage in the House was smaller than in this cycle. The DSCC had raised 23.0% more than the NRSC ($64.9 million to $51.5 million), while the DCCC had raised 17.1% more than the NRCC ($125 million to $106 million).

Republicans continue to lead in national committee fundraising, with the Republican National Committee (RNC) raising $26.2 million and spending $25.4 million while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $12.0 million and spent $7.8 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 88.4% more than the DNC ($295 million to $114 million). The RNC’s 88.4% fundraising advantage is down from 89.8% in February and 90.2% in January.

At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential cycle), the RNC had a smaller 46.7% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($126 million to $78.5 million).

So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 35.0% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($496.3 million to $348.4 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is down from 35.3% in February but up from 34.1% in January.



Bernie Sanders wins Democrats Abroad primary

Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Abroad presidential primary, according to an official tally of results released Monday. Sanders received 57.9% of the vote to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 22.7%. The two were the only candidates to receive the 15% of the vote required to be allocated delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Sanders will receive nine of the group’s 13 delegates while Biden will receive the remaining four.

Democrats Abroad is the official international arm of the Democratic Party. Registered voters who live outside of the United States and did not participate in a state or territorial primary were eligible to cast a presidential vote with Democrats Abroad between March 3-10. The group does not cast electoral votes for president in the November general election.

Turnout was reported at 39,984 votes, the largest in Democrats Abroad history and a 15% increase from the turnout in 2016. Just under 15% of votes were cast from the United Kingdom (5,689), more than any other country. Germany followed with 5,268 votes, while Americans residing in Canada cast 4,691 votes. The primary reported votes from 180 countries.

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Biden, Trump outline coronavirus strategy in pair of addresses

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 24, 2020: Biden, Trump discuss coronavirus response. blank    blankblank   


Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


Poll Spotlight


Notable Quote of the Day

“If you thought the battle over whether or not to impeach Trump would be the defining moment of the President’s first term in office (as we all did), well, things have changed.

This coronavirus fight is now the thing that very likely will make or break Trump’s chances at a second term this November. And it’s really a series of fights: There’s the obvious physical health one but there’s also a massive economic fight, a mental health battle and a leadership test all wrapped in there too.”

– Chris Cillizza, CNN editor-at-large

Democrats

  • Joe Biden delivered a televised address from his Delaware home in which he discussed Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden also said he would begin vetting at least six potential vice presidential nominees in the coming weeks. Also Monday, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the largest public-sector union nationwide, endorsed Biden.

  • Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Abroad primary, according to official vote totals released Monday. The primary was conducted March 3-10 and was open to all U.S. citizens living abroad who did not vote in a state or territorial primary. Sanders won 58% of the vote and nine of the group’s delegates. Biden won 22% and the remaining four delegates.

Republicans

  • In his daily press briefing, Donald Trump said that the coronavirus pandemic looked as if it would get worse before getting better. Trump said that the country was not built to sustain a prolonged shutdown and that he would soon consider whether it was time to lift restrictions on business.

Flashback: March 24, 2016

The Los Angeles Times published an interview with Bernie Sanders in which he stated that he planned on making the case to the party’s superdelegates that he was the stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton.blank

Click here to learn more.



Joe Biden leads in Ballotpedia pageviews for the first time since November

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.

Joe Biden’s campaign page received 26,727 views for the week of March 1-7. Biden’s pageview figure represents 45.6% of the pageviews for Democratic candidates during the week. Bernie Sanders followed with 23,147 pageviews (39.5%) while Tulsi Gabbard had 8,700 (14.9%). This is the first week where Biden has led in pageviews since the week of November 10-16, 2019.

Gabbard had the largest week-over-week increase in pageviews at 305.22%. Biden’s pageviews increased by 256.50%, while Sanders’ increased by 106.65%.

Biden remains the leader in overall pageviews this cycle with 200,343. Sanders has received 188,295 and Gabbard 113,791.

Three candidates ended their campaigns last week. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 161,746 pageviews, while Amy Klobuchar’s received 128,374 and Michael Bloomberg’s received 54,802.


Wisconsin Supreme Court primary turnout at highest level in decades

Last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court primary featured the highest turnout in at least 20 years, with just under 704,000 voters participating. The next-highest primary turnout during this period was in 2016 when 566,000 voters participated in the primary.

Since 2000, there have been 15 other elections for state Supreme Court, six of which had primaries (a Wisconsin Supreme Court primary is only held if more than two candidates file; the top two finishers in the primary advance to the general election).

Higher primary turnout has typically been associated with higher general election turnout. The 2016 general election had the highest turnout of any during this time period, including the nine without primaries, at 1.95 million. The record-low 278,000-voter turnout in the 2003 primary was followed by the lowest turnout in any general election where a primary was held.

Turnout in a general election has exceeded 1 million three time: in 2011, 2016, and 2019. The conservative-backed candidate won in all three elections. The three lowest turnout figures for contested elections during this time were in the 2009, 2003, and 2015 elections, ranging between 794,000 and 813,000. The liberal candidate-backed won in 2009 and 2015, while the conservative-backed candidate won in 2003.

Incumbent Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky were the top-two finishers in the Feb. 18 primary this year and will advance to the April 7 general election. Kelly received 50.1% of the primary vote. Of the six other primaries since 2000, a candidate received more than 50% of the vote in three. In all three, that candidate went on to win the general election.

This year’s general election coincides with Wisconsin’s April 7 presidential primaries. Eight notable Democrats are running in that party’s presidential primary as of Feb. 25. President Donald Trump will be the only candidate on the Republican presidential primary ballot.

The result of the state supreme court general election stands to impact future control of the court. A Kelly win would preserve the current 5-2 conservative majority. Assuming that no justices leave the bench early, this would prevent liberals from winning a majority on the court any earlier than 2026. A win for Karofsky would narrow the conservative majority to 4-3 and would mean that the 2023 election will decide control of the court.

Click here to learn more.

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Eleven presidential candidates raised a combined $390 million in January

Michael Bloomberg (D) led presidential candidates in fundraising for January 2020, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday. Bloomberg raised $263.8 million in January, including $263.7 million in self-funding. He was followed by Tom Steyer (D), who raised $65.3 million, including $64.7 million in self-funding. Bernie Sanders ($25.2 million) and Elizabeth Warren ($11.0 million) were the only other candidates to raise more than $10 million

As of the January 31, 2020, reporting cutoff, President Donald Trump (R) had $92.6 million in cash on hand, the most of all presidential candidates. Bloomberg followed with $55.1 million, then Steyer with $17.9 million. Sanders had $16.8 million, and no other candidates had more than $10 million on hand.

President Trump’s $217.7 million raised to date is 27.0% more than the inflation-adjusted $166.0 million President Barack Obama (D) had raised at this point in his 2012 re-election campaign. According to Republican National Committee (RNC) finance reports filed Thursday, Trump and the RNC have raised a combined $810.9 million. At this point in the 2012 campaign cycle, Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $563.9 million.

The eight remaining noteworthy Democratic candidates have collectively raised $1.164 billion this cycle, while the three noteworthy Republicans have collectively raised $233.5 million. The eight Democrats had a combined $110.7 million in cash on hand to the three Republicans’ combined $97.5 million.

Since the start of the election cycle, the top five Democratic fundraisers are Bloomberg ($464.1 million), Steyer ($271.6 million), Sanders ($134.3 million), Warren ($93.0 million), and Pete Buttigieg ($83.0 million). The 11 noteworthy Democratic and Republican candidates have raised a combined $1.398 billion since the start of the election cycle.

Click here to learn more about 2020 Presidential election campaign finance.

Additional reading:
Presidential election, 2020
Presidential candidates, 2020
Democratic presidential nomination, 2020
Republican presidential nomination, 2020



House Republicans’ campaign arm outraises Democrats for the first time this cycle, RNC outraises DNC for ninth consecutive month

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for a ninth consecutive month, according to February 2020 campaign finance reports filed with the FEC Thursday. Republican House and Senate committees also outraised their Democratic counterparts.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $10.1 million and spent $4.8 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $8.5 million and spent $7.5 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 8.4% more than the DSCC ($77.7 million to $71.5 million). The NRSC’s 8.4% fundraising advantage is up from 7.3% in January but down from 8.7% in December.

On the House side, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $12.7 million and spent $7.5 million last month, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.1 million and spent $7.0 million. This is the first time the NRCC has outraised the DCCC during the 2020 campaign cycle. So far in the cycle, the DCCC has raised 33.4% more than the NRCC ($137.0 million to $97.8 million). The DCCC’s 33.4% fundraising advantage is down from 37.8% in January and 35.5% in December.

At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although their advantage in the House was smaller than in this cycle. The DSCC had raised 25.2% more than the NRSC ($59.8 million to $46.4 million), while the DCCC had raised 18.7% more than the NRCC ($114.8 million to $95.1 million).

Republicans continue to lead in national committee fundraising, with the Republican National Committee (RNC) raising $27.2 million and spending $23.2 million while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $10.8 million and spent $11.0 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 89.8% more than the DNC ($268.3 million to $102.0 million). The RNC’s 89.8% fundraising advantage is down from 90.2% in January but up from 88.9% in December.

At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential cycle), the RNC had a smaller 48.2% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($114.8 million to $70.2 million).

So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 35.3% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($443.9 million to $310.5 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is up from 34.1% in January and 34.6% in December.

Click here to learn more about party committee fundraising 2019-2020

Additional reading:
Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee
Fundraising in Congressional elections, 2018



Joaquin Castro endorses Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in Texas Democratic U.S. Senate primary

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) endorsed Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez (D) for U.S. Senate Tuesday. Tzintzún Ramirez is one of 12 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in a March 3 primary.

Castro is the first member of Congress to endorse Tzintzún Ramirez; her other endorsers include The Austin Chronicle, the Center for Popular Democracy, the Latino Victory Fund, and the Working Families Party. Lone Star Forward PAC launched a television ad buy in support of Tzintzún Ramirez Wednesday.

If none of the candidates reaches 50% support in the primary, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff on May 26. Every poll released so far has shown at least 34% of likely primary voters undecided. None of the 12 candidates has received more than 22% support in any one poll, although MJ Hegar (D) has led or tied for the lead in every poll since October.

Support from endorsers has also been spread among the candidates. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D), former Houston Mayor pro tem Gracie Saenz (D), and the Texas Democrats with Disabilities Caucus have endorsed Chris Bell. Amanda Edwards’ endorsers include The Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, and the Afro American Police League. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, and VoteVets have endorsed Hegar. Royce West’s endorsers include The Dallas Morning News (which endorsed him alongside Edwards), the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and 20 of his colleagues in the state legislature.

Incumbent John Cornyn (R) faces four challengers in the Republican primary. Two race-raters cal the general election Likely Republican and one rates it Solid Republican. No Democratic candidate has won a statewide election in Texas since 1994. Cornyn was last elected over David Alameel (D) by a margin of 61.6% to 34.4% in 2014.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 Texas United States Senate election’s March 3 Democratic primary

Additional reading:
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Joaquin Castro 
U.S. Senate battlegrounds, 2020



Karofsky and Kelly advance in Wisconsin Supreme Court primary; Fallone eliminated

Incumbent Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky were the top-two finishers in Tuesday’s nonpartisan Wisconsin Supreme Court primary and will advance to the April 7 general election. As of 9:10 p.m. CT, Kelly had received 48.8% of the vote to Karofsky’s 38.0% and Fallone’s 13.3% with 57.3% of precincts reporting.

Although the race is officially nonpartisan, Kelly is a member of the court’s conservative majority and received support from conservative groups. Karofsky and Fallone indicated they would join the liberal minority and received support from liberal groups.

Recent election history suggested that either Karofsky or Fallone was likely to be eliminated in Tuesday’s primary. Between 2005 and 2019, every contested Wisconsin Supreme Court election resulted in a conservative-backed candidate and a liberal-backed candidate advancing from the primary rather than two justices of the same ideological leaning.

The April 7 general election will determine if and when ideological control of the court could change in the future. A Kelly win would preserve the current 5-2 conservative majority. Assuming that no justices leave the bench early, this would prevent liberals from winning a majority on the court any earlier than 2026. A Karofsky win would narrow the conservative majority to 4-3 and mean that the 2023 election would decide control of the court.

Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court general elections have been decided by narrow margins. In 2019, Brian Hagedorn defeated Lisa Neubauer by a 50.2% to 49.7% margin. The widest margin of victory in a contested Wisconsin Supreme Court election in the past decade was Ann Walsh Bradley’s 58.1% to 41.9% win over James Daley in 2015.

Click here to learn more.

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