Washington – While declaring the winner of Monday’s Iowa caucus has been messy, in the race for money, former Vice President Joe Biden was the clear victor in Connecticut over the last few months.
In the last quarter of 2019, Biden raised $507,778 from Connecticut donors, likely helped by an October fundraiser hosted by Gov. Ned Lamont.
Across the nation, however, Biden is lagging behind other leading Democratic candidates seeking to replace President Donald Trump. Biden raised only $23 million in the last quarter, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raised nearly $35 million, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised nearly $34 million and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised about $25 million.
The latest campaign figures show that Buttigieg, who has been the Democratic front-runner in Connecticut as far as donations in previous quarters, was the second-highest fundraiser in the last three months of the year among the Democrats, raising $256,901.
“If you prefer him to Joe Biden and you are in the moderate camp, then (Buttigieg) is an appealing candidate,” said University of Connecticut political science professor Ron Schurin.
While Sanders raised only $197,866 in Connecticut in the 4th quarter, he dwarfed the other candidates as far as the number of donations. There were 7,402 donations to Sanders from Connecticut residents, some as small as $2.70. The average donation was less than $27.
Many of Sanders’ donations were repeat contributions from individual donors.
“Part of the Sanders campaign strategy is to have supporters give multiple times to show he has a grassroots following,” said Gary Rose, the head of Sacred Heart University’s political science department.
In 2016, Sanders won 46.4% of the vote in Connecticut’s Democratic primary, and Hillary Clinton won 51.8%.
Trump had the second-largest number of donations from Connecticut in the last quarter — about 4,500 — and raised roughly $263,000 in the state.
Meanwhile, Warren’s campaign attracted nearly 2,900 donations and raised $144,546, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised nearly $172,000 from 940 donations.
Andrew Yang raised the least amount of money in Connecticut, about $126,000. But he attracted 1,798 donations, meaning that the average contribution to his campaign was about $70.
In contrast, Biden attracted the largest average donation, about $235.
Fellow Democrat Mike Bloomberg, a multi-billionaire, did not raise any money in Connecticut or any other state since he’s self-funding his campaign, to the tune of several hundred million dollars so far.
Fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who is also largely self-funded, did raise a little money from Connecticut donors in the last quarter, $4,080.
After the messy Iowa caucus, attention focuses on New Hampshire, where Sanders and Warren are expected to do well in next Tuesday’s primary.
Then comes Nevada, which holds caucuses on Feb. 22, and South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 29.
“That may be the saving grace for Biden,” said Rose.
The former vice president has strong support among the African-American and Latino communities, which may help Biden in Nevada and South Carolina.