President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign raised $30 million during the first three months of the year, getting off to a fast fundraising start while his potential Democratic rivals stockpile cash for a long and expensive primary ahead.
The Trump campaign ended the first quarter with $40.8 million in its bank account, it said on Sunday — a sum that shows Trump is beginning to stockpile serious money for the eventual 2020 general election. Trump filed campaign finance paperwork to run for reelection earlier than any other president, and he has been raising and spending money through his campaign committee since soon after he took office in 2017. The fundraising figures were first reported by the Associated Press.
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Trump’s $30 million far outstripped the leading Democratic presidential contenders — reflecting the advantage of a largely undivided party supporting Trump and the small- and large-dollar money machines already whirring to boost his campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised $18.2 million in the first quarter in his bid for the Democratic nomination, his campaign said, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced raising $12 million.
Trump’s first-quarter haul was an uptick from the $21 million that the president raised during the final quarter of 2018.
The Republican National Committee also brought in $45.8 million in the first quarter, according to the Trump campaign, bringing its cash reserves close to $41 million.
The increased fundraising pace is coming with increased spending by the Trump campaign. Filings earlier this year showed that Trump had 16 people on his campaign payroll in late 2018 — a number that is expected to increase rapidly this year as the campaign builds its infrastructure for 2020. Trump, the RNC and joint fundraising committees feeding the two entities have also spent big on digital advertising this year to attract new donors on Facebook and Google, according to advertising disclosures from both platforms.