Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the first potential candidate to make his fundraising announcement yesterday. Buttigieg, who has yet to announce an official presidential campaign, has raised $7 million in the first months since announcing his exploratory committee on January 23. Even though other candidates will have raised more than Buttigieg, his fundraising haul is extraordinary for a mayor.
Before his exploratory announcement, Buttigieg was known by very few with an email list of just 20,000. He had no digital fundraising program and spent only $15,000 on Facebook ads in the past three months. In comparison, Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand spent millions on their fundraising program during their Senate bids and Beto O’Rourke created an enormous list of supporters during his Senate bid.
With these funds, Buttigieg will be able to invest in a campaign infrastructure in early states, double his campaign size from 20 to 40 staffers, and will be seeking in-state staffers in Iowa and New Hampshire. Buttigieg has also been receiving help from other mayors like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon who have connected Buttigieg with deep-pocketed Democrats in California. Other mayors like Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio receive calls constantly for Buttigieg and has sent contributors and potential staffers in his direction.
Buttigieg’s numbers show that he is a surging candidate, and his results in recent polls have demonstrated this as well. The Quinnipiac University poll showed Buttigieg at 4 percent nationally, and an Iowa-based poll conducted by Focus On Rural America saw him jump from 9 to 6 percent support.
Click here to read the full 4/2/19 article by Elena Schneider and Daniel Strauss from Politico.