Hillary Clinton's campaign likely to surpass $100 million fundraising goal

Story highlights

  • Clinton raised at least $21 million at fundraisers she personally headlined in the fourth quarter of 2015
  • The Democratic front-runner headlined a total of 58 fundraisers in the fourth quarter

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)Hillary Clinton will roll into 2016 by likely surpassing her campaign's $100 million fundraising goal for its first three quarters, according to a CNN analysis of figures provided by the Clinton campaign.

Clinton raised at least $21 million at fundraisers she personally headlined in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to figures provided by the Clinton campaign, a number consistent with what Clinton-headlined events raised in the second and third quarters of 2015.
The Democratic front-runner headlined a total of 58 fundraisers in the fourth quarter, a pace identical to the 58 events she headlined in the second and third quarters of 2015. Clinton-attended fundraisers in the second quarter brought in $23 million and those in the third quarter raised $22 million.
    Overall, the Clinton campaign had raised $75 million through September 30 and given that her haul from the last three months of 2015 is consistent with the first two quarters of the campaign, it is likely Clinton's fourth quarter fundraising will put the campaign over the goal.
    Clinton aides would not confirm CNN's analysis, but Josh Schwerin, a campaign spokesman, said Wednesday that the campaign was "confident" it would surpass its goal.
    While the haul is something Clinton aides will surely be proud of, it is not a given that she will outraise Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her main opponent for the Democratic nomination.
    According to aides, Sanders has already received more than 1 million donations in the fourth quarter, a pace faster than what Sanders raised in the third quarter, when the candidate brought in $26 million.
    Clinton's fourth-quarter fundraising was significantly different than earlier in the campaign. While many of Clinton's events in the first two quarters of her campaign were max out events -- with tickets costing $2,700 per person -- the presidential candidate headlined a number of events this quarter where tickets were as low as $250 and $500.
    For example, tickets cost $250 for one of Clinton's last fundraisers of the quarter, a 600-person event hosted by actress Drew Barrymore in New York on December 17, while her 1,400-person birthday fundraiser on October 25 with performers John Legend and Tony Bennett had similar low-dollar tickets.
    Clinton also has had more help on the trail of late, with former President Bill Clinton headlining dozens of fundraisers in 14 states and Washington, D.C., including events in Texas, Wisconsin and Ohio.
    The fourth and final quarter of the year was a strong one for Clinton. October was the strongest month of Clinton's campaign due to a strong performance at the first Democratic debate and her ability to dispatch questions about the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi and her private email server during a lengthy testimony on Capitol Hill.

    Sanders' (expected) big haul

    Sanders, Clinton's top Democratic opponent, is expected to turn in another large fundraising haul this quarter, largely buoyed by his strong online contributions.
    Since launching his campaign, Sanders has solicited over 2.3 million donations and raised over $40 million -- including a sizable $26 million in the third quarter. Aides have said that the campaign is focused on surpassing 1 million donors by the end of the year.
    Sanders' campaign has also raised big money at notable moments in the fourth quarter. Sanders' aides bragged that the campaign raised $2.5 million in the two days after the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas.
    And the day after the campaign breached the Clinton campaign's voter data -- and subsequently sued the Democratic National Committee -- aides said the campaign raised more than $1 million.
    In its court filing against the DNC, Sanders' campaign claimed it was losing $600,000 a day in possible fundraising because the party had temporarily cut access to the voter data. Sanders aides have said that number was not an average of their daily fundraising, but more a number of losses taken on when they lost access to the voter file.
    The Sanders campaign declined to comment for this story.
    Unlike Sanders, the Clinton campaign has also raised money in the fourth quarter for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee, and for Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting the Democratic candidate. This haul, while not yet public, could be mean millions of dollars being spent on behalf of the Clinton campaign and other Democratic groups.
    All campaigns will file their fourth quarter fundraising reports with the federal election commission in January and some may tout their official numbers earlier in the year. The reports will document their fundraising from October through December.

    January 2016 fundraising blitz

    According to invites obtained by CNN, Clinton will headline six fundraisers in California on January 7 and 8, less than a month before the Iowa caucuses.
    Clinton will raise money with Warren Buffett on Thursday, January 7, in Los Angeles, according an invitation, at a $2,700-per-person event hosted by Karen Mack Goldsmith, a CBS producer and author, and Russell Goldsmith, the chairman of City National Bank. She headlined her first fundraiser with Buffett in December in Omaha, Nebraska, as part of her fourth quarter tour that saw her attend events in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Thirteen fundraisers were in New York, the most of any state, and six were in California.
    Clinton will also raise money on Thursday at the Jim Henson Company Lot in Los Angeles. The event is hosted by Lisa Henson, a television producer and the CEO of The Jim Henson Company, and David Pressler, an animator and character designer. The event is a family fundraiser, meaning tickets that run from $500 to $2,700 include adults and children.
    Clinton will also headline an event in the San Gabriel Valley on that Thursday hosted by Congresswoman Judy Chu.
    Clinton will travel to Northern California for three fundraisers on Friday, January 8, including another family event at the Innovation Hanger in San Francisco.