Pete Buttigieg raised more than $19.1 million in the third quarter of 2019, his campaign manager said on Tuesday.
While the haul is substantial – and will likely land Buttigieg among the top tier of Democratic fundraisers – it is down from the nearly $25 million the South Bend, Indiana, mayor raised in the second quarter of 2019.
Buttigieg has now raised more than $51 million since the start of 2019, a sizable number for a candidate who started the year with relatively little name recognition.
Buttigieg tweeted Tuesday morning saying he is “profoundly grateful” and “together, we’re building a movement that’s big enough, and hopeful enough to do things differently and win.”
“This is great news and shows that in a crowded field, Pete continues to stand out as having the vision and leadership voters know we need to tackle the urgent problems facing our country,” campaign manager Mike Schmuhl wrote in a memo released to reporters. “We will have the resources to go the full distance, and to win, the 2020 nominating contests.”
Buttigieg received donations from roughly 182,000 new donors in the third quarter, his campaign said, bringing their total number of unique donors to more than 580,000. The average donation for the quarter was $32, Schmuhl wrote.
“While Q3 of an off-year is traditionally a notoriously challenging quarter to fundraise, our campaign continued to see strong performance,” Schmuhl said, seeking to explain why the number was down from the second quarter. “Throughout this time, we’ve been hyper-focused on scaling the organization and building the infrastructure needed to win the nomination.”
Schmuhl did not disclose the campaign’s cash on hand in his memo.
Buttigieg did spend considerable time on the fundraising circuit over the last three months, headlining in-person fundraisers across the country. But the mayor’s fundraising pace was intentionally down over the last three months as the candidate begins to spend more time and resources on building a campaign infrastructure and organizing in key early states.
Buttigieg’s campaign grew quickly in the third quarter. The mayor’s staff in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina grew from 107 people to 227 over the last three months, with the campaign’s entire staff now topping out at nearly 400 people.
The biggest growth was in Iowa, where the candidate now has 21 offices and nearly 100 people on the ground. Buttigieg’s New Hampshire staff nearly doubled, from 34 to 64 people. And Buttigieg’s staff in Nevada went from six at the start of the third quarter to 35 people today.
That growth, however, has yet to be markedly seen in recent polling, where Buttigieg’s standing has stagnated.
After using a CNN town hall and a series of media appearances to vault himself from the depths of low polling presidential campaigns, Buttigieg plateaued over the summer, hovering in the mid-single digits in most national polls. The mayor has seen some growth in early state polling, but he continues to trail former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, three well known Democrats who have positioned themselves as the race’s top tier.
Schmuhl noted in his memo that Buttigieg “did not come into this race having operated in Washington for years or decades,” “did not transfer millions of dollars from other accounts into this one,” and has “not been cultivating an email list for years,” all things that are true about many of Buttigieg’s opponents.
“But every single day our campaign continues to grow, and every single day we continue to build the support that we need to be one of the very few campaigns that will actually be able to compete in and win the Democratic primary,” he concluded.