Buttigieg bests Warren, Booker and Klobuchar in first-quarter fundraising

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with an AP reporter at a farmers market in South Bend, Ind., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Jan. 10, 2019 (Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign raised more money in the first quarter of 2019 than better-known Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, all U.S. senators.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., reported $7 million in donations from individuals. Warren, D-Mass., raised $6 million. Klobuchar, D-Minn., took in $5.2 million and Sen. Booker, D-N.J., received $5 million.

Buttigieg still significantly trails Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., who leads the field, having raised $18.2 million in the first quarter, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who raised $12 million and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, who raked in $9.4 million. But the fourth-place showing for someone who was virtually unknown outside his hometown a few months ago was notable.

Buttigieg, who is the first presidential candidate in a same-sex marriage, was boosted by donations by the LGBTQ community, but not exclusively.

“It certainly helps to have people who are excited about the historic quality of a possible candidacy, but we really have a broad range,” Buttigieg told NBC News. “They’re still crunching the numbers to understand some of the dimensions of all our support because it came, it seems, from every corner of the country and very different types of donors.”

Buttigieg’s challenge is to parlay his impressive fundraising results into votes. Polls of the Democratic race show him rising to the middle of the pack. A Morning Consult survey of Democratic primary voters released Tuesday put Buttigieg in sixth place with 5 percent support, behind former Vice President Joe Biden (32 percent), Sanders (23 percent), Harris (9 percent), O’Rourke (8 percent) and Warren (7 percent).

A Hill/HarrisX poll, released Monday, found Buttigieg earning just 3 percent support among Democratic and independent voters, behind Biden (28 percent), Sanders (20 percent), O’Rourke (8 percent), Warren (7 percent), Harris (6 percent) and Booker (4 percent).

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