Senator Elizabeth Warren brought in a massive $19 million second quarter fundraising haul, passing up both Sanders and Harris and giving Biden a run for his money — he raised $21.5 million.

Fundraising hauls have to be weighed against the campaign’s “burn rate” or how much of the money they’re bringing in is being spent. Warren’s campaign has dialed down the burn rate substantially compared to the first quarter.

From Politico:

The Warren campaign appears built to last. After hiring more than 300 staffers, it still has $19.7 million cash on hand, according to a campaign source. That figure suggests that the campaign dramatically reduced its “burn rate” in the second quarter, from 85 percent to 55 percent. The campaign still spent about $10.6 million last quarter, but the increase in online fundraising allowed it to add $8.5 million to its cash on hand.

Sanders, who has the benefit of an established fundraising base raked in $18 million in the second quarter. Warren seems to be poaching his base, painting herself as another progressive alternative. Politico again:

The Warren campaign has argued that forswearing fundraisers has been critical to her recent rise in the polls. The freed-up time, staffers argue, has allowed Warren to do 107 town halls, travel to 23 states plus Puerto Rico, wait through her signature “selfie lines” after every event, and dive deep into policy. Warren’s personal calls to small-dollar donors — and the resulting web videos of some of those calls — have also become a hit on Twitter as random progressives announce that “Elizabeth Warren called me!”

“Almost everything going well for [Warren] lately traces to her decision not to devote her time and energy to wealthy donor access, but instead to building organization and talking about problems facing the country and solutions,” her senior adviser Dan Geldon tweeted last month. “It’s the right way to run for President.”

Warren and Sanders, who also has essentially spurned the fundraising circuit, have both managed to fund their campaigns and outraise rivals like Harris through donations online. They also were within range of Pete Buttigieg, who raised a pack-leading $25 million but who attended about 50 high-dollar fundraisers plus 20 other fundraisers with lower ticket prices in the second quarter.

But Sanders had the advantage of having assembled a grass-roots donor base during his last presidential run. Warren’s ability to surpass him this quarter suggests that her operation is quickly gaining on the Vermont senator.

Warren has gradually been trying to establish herself as a progressive alternative to Sanders, with splashy proposals to forgive $600 billion in student debt and impose a “wealth tax” on people with assets over $50 million. After several months of varying answers on Medicare for All — Sanders’ signature issue — Warren has recently deployed a simple response on the issue: “I’m with Bernie.”

Her first debate performance was less than stellar, but it doesn’t appear to have damped her fundraising power.

 
 
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