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Cash On Hand: How Much Money Matters In The 2020 Presidential Race

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event  in New Hampshire. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sen. Sanders was  was the top fundraiser in terms of money raised from individual donors in the fourth quarter.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in New Hampshire. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sen. Sanders was was the top fundraiser in terms of money raised from individual donors in the fourth quarter.

When we talk about a candidate’s performance, we often talk about polls…or in other words, how much the people who happen to pick up a pollster’s call like the candidate.

But fundraising is another major way to gauge success on the campaign trail.

Momentum can rise or fall on how much money one campaign can spend compared to another. This year is no different.

Here’s how FiveThirtyEight puts these fundraising numbers into context:

fundraising is an inefficient metric for assessing general elections, but it’s pretty useful for gauging the primaries. Winning the nomination requires building name recognition and demonstrating viability, particularly in a field with over a dozen candidates. A great fundraising quarter signals to voters — and the DNC — that a candidate is on track to do just that.

Senator Bernie Sanders has been tremendously successful in attracting small-dollar donors. But he’s up against two  billionaires bankrolling their own candidacies.

How much does money matter? How could the chaos of the Iowa caucuses affect a campaign’s ability to fundraise?

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