Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is currently leading the Democratic primary in money raised. And according to campaign finance records, he has more money than the Democratic Party’s leading campaign organizations.
Reddit user /u/LoneStarMike59 recently combed through filings from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), all of which coordinate fundraising for candidates running for federal office, in both the House and Senate.
When factoring in the total assets of all three organizations — including current debt on their respective balance sheets — /u/LoneStarMike59 found that all three organizations are still not as flush with cash as Sanders’ 2020 campaign.
The math checks out on /u/LoneStarMike59’s post. According to the DNC’s first quarter filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the organization has $9.3 million in cash on hand as of March 31, 2019, but also has $6.5 million in outstanding debts and loans owed. The DSCC is still deeply in the red, with $19.1 million in outstanding debts and loans owed and only $12.7 million in cash on hand. The DCCC, for its part, is the most financially stable of the three organizations, with $14.8 million in cash on hand and $6 million in debts and loans owed as of March 31.
When factoring in the total cash on hand and subtracting all debts and loans owed, those three campaign committees combined have just $5,164,948.91. To compare, FEC records for Sen. Sanders’ campaign show that, as of March 31, 2019, the Vermont senator has $17,850,355.55 in cash on hand, with no debts or loans owed. This means that Sanders’ 2020 campaign has more than three times as much money as the Democratic Party’s three main campaign committees, combined.
As Grit Post has previously reported, the bulk of Sen. Sanders’ fundraising has come from small-dollar donations of less than $200 apiece, with an average donation amount of just $20. 99.6% of that money was raised online, and Sanders has held zero fundraising events so far this campaign cycle. The majority of Sanders’ donors are under the age of 39.
To contrast, 2020 candidates Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke are both having fundraising events next week. Buttigieg’s fundraiser is hosted by prominent DC lobbyist Steve Elmendorf. Tickets for O’Rourke’s fundraiser start at $250 per person, and is invitation-only.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.