“no question that the first quarter was adversely impacted by certain establishment donors”
As far back as November, people have predicted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) role in the resignation of former Senator Al Franken would hurt her prospects for 2020. It looks like it’s coming true.
Gillibrand’s campaign continues to struggle to raise money, and even they acknowledge their Franken problem.
Michael Burke reports at The Hill:
Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign suggested Sunday that the campaign’s low first-quarter fundraising totals could be partly attributed to backlash over Gillibrand’s decision in 2017 to call for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).
In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the campaign reportedly said there’s “no question” that donors are retaliating in response to Gillibrand calling on Franken, who had been accused of sexual harassment, to step aside.
“There’s no question that the first quarter was adversely impacted by certain establishment donors — and many online — who continue to punish Kirsten for standing up for her values and for women,” the memo reads.
Gillibrand’s campaign announced Sunday that it raised $3 million in the first quarter of 2019, putting her behind several of her Democratic rivals in the race, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Gillibrand has other problems as well. In October, just before the 2018 midterms, she told New York voters that if she was elected to the Senate, she wouldn’t run for president. As soon as she won the election, she broke her promise.
Now, due to her fundraising woes, she has shifted funds from her Senate campaign to her presidential campaign.
Elena Schneider reports at Politico:
Gillibrand raises $3 million in first quarter
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has raised $3 million since launching her presidential bid, her campaign said Sunday, a sum that puts the New York Democrat near the bottom of Democrats’ fundraising leaderboard after the year’s first quarter.
But Gillibrand still has a hefty sum in her campaign account — over $10 million, more than a number of her opponents — thanks to a big transfer of leftover funds from her 2018 Senate reelection campaign. Gillibrand’s spokeswoman didn’t disclose the number of donors who contributed to her bid, as some other campaigns in the grassroots-obsessed Democratic primary have so far.
Gillibrand’s recent town hall event on CNN was also a dud.
Kirsten Gillibrand’s CNN Town Hall Pulls in Rock Bottom Ratings
CNN has hosted a series of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates for town halls. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar have all participated.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was up to bat Wednesday night, but her appearance wasn’t met with encouraging ratings. Regardless of what you make of Gillibrand’s polling, few viewers tuned in to watch her talk about the issues.
Gillibrand’s town hall bagged a paltry 491,000 in total viewers and 115,000 in the advertiser coveted A25-54 demographic.
For some context: in the first quarter of 2019, CNN’s 10 p.m. host Don Lemon doubled those numbers: on average, he bagged 1.16 million total viewers and 361,000 in the demo.
In such a crowded field, fundraising would be a challenge for any candidate. In Gillibrand’s case, it will be significantly more difficult if many Democratic donors are intentionally withholding cash as a form of punishment.
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