Washington: Donald Trump's reelection team has revealed that he sits atop a staggering campaign war chest, underlining the scale of the challenge facing the US president's Democratic rivals at the start of the election year.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, despite his impeachment by the House of Representatives, he came out on top, raising a staggering USD 46 million. It was his best fundraising period in a year that brought in USD 143 million for his re-election efforts, the campaign announced.
The wide Democratic field meanwhile has lost another candidate with Julian Castro, the only Hispanic in the 2020 field, announcing he is ending his bid. That leaves 14 candidates still in the running to take on Trump.
And while they raise funds to compete against one another ahead of the general election in November, Trump has the luxury of stockpiling funds until his opponent is selected.
Trump's campaign now has an impressive $102.7 million in cash on hand. His 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement that “the president's war chest and grassroots army make his reelection campaign an unstoppable juggernaut.”
The president faces an upcoming trial in the US Senate, where a Republican majority is expected to acquit him. But the impeachment drama has in fact led to a flood of donations.
Trump retweeted a report that said a whopping $10 million was raised in the two days following the impeachment vote.
Trump's fundraising haul is significantly higher than that of his challengers. Bernie Sanders, the liberal senator, has so far raked in USD 34.5 million in 2019's final three months, more than all the Democratic other contenders.
The Sanders team said it topped five million individual donations, a figure not reached by his 2016 campaign until March of that year. “Together, we're proving you don't need to beg the wealthy and the powerful for campaign contributions in order to win elections,” Sanders said.
Democratic rival Pete Buttigieg also posted strong numbers, raising USD 24.7 million in the fourth quarter, bringing his 2019 total to more than USD 76 million.
Buttigieg -- who until Wednesday served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana -- has been a campaign surprise, and leads in Iowa, the state which votes first in the nomination race, on February 3.
Frontrunner Joe Biden, the former vice president, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Amy Klobuchar have yet to announce their quarterly hauls.
One candidate showing unexpected resilience is Andrew Yang, an Asian-American entrepreneur with no political experience who remains in contention. Yang raised USD 16.5 million in the fourth quarter, capping a dramatic uptrend from early 2019 when he was a virtual unknown.
But while Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar have qualified for the next Democratic debate, on January 14, Yang has not.
Neither have Senator Cory Booker, congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, or billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York who only jumped into the race in November.