'There’s obviously a lot of energy out there': Democratic donations surge heading into 2020

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The state of the Democratic grassroots is strong, and it wants Donald Trump gone. Not only did the combined fourth-quarter fundraising totals for Democratic 2020 presidential candidates eclipse Donald Trump's fourth-quarter fundraising, but the candidates' year-end totals in combination with the Democratic National Committee's 2019 intake also surpassed the sum total of fundraising last year for Trump and the Republican National Committee.

The 11 Democratic candidates who aren't self-funding, along with the DNC, raised at least $463 million last year (that counts at least $17 million in Q4 for Sen. Warren, though she hasn't released her final tally) versus the at least $402 million raised in 2019 by Trump and the RNC, according to Politico (The Washington Post puts the GOP's combined year-end total at $463 million, on par with Democrats’).

Overall, the RNC outraised the DNC, with $241 million at the end of November to the DNC's $83.6 million, according to the Post. Without a doubt, Trump and the RNC are going into 2020 well-funded after taking in nearly half a billion dollars. In 2011, by comparison, President Obama and the Democratic party raised about $220 million as he headed toward a reelection bid.

But Democratic donors big and small have fueled a presidential primary flush with cash, with Democratic candidates' Q4 earnings far outpacing Trump's $46 million haul. Sen. Bernie Sanders alone posted $34.5 million in the final quarter of 2019.

“The idea that you’re within striking distance of an incumbent president — not considering the party fundraising — I think that’s pretty solid,” Rufus Gifford, finance director for Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, told Politico. “You’ve got to feel encouraged as a Democrat. There’s obviously a lot of energy out there.”

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