WASHINGTON — Pete Buttigieg raised more than $24.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, his presidential campaign said on Wednesday, another strong showing that leaves him well positioned to finance a large campaign operation as primary voting approaches.
In a display of the breadth of his support, Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign said it had now received more than two million donations from more than 733,000 people since he entered the race. The campaign said 326,000 people had donated to Mr. Buttigieg in the fourth quarter.
In the past year, Mr. Buttigieg has proved himself to be an unexpected fund-raising powerhouse, raising more than $76 million over the course of 2019 despite entering the race with little name recognition across the country. His successor as mayor of South Bend, Ind., was to be sworn in on Wednesday.
Mr. Buttigieg has also been criticized for courting wealthy donors, and in announcing his fund-raising results, his campaign boasted on Wednesday of being “powered by grass-roots energy from all 50 states.” His average donation in the quarter was about $34, the campaign said.
While his financial strength has been apparent for many months, Mr. Buttigieg has seen his standing in the race improve more recently, with polls in Iowa showing him in a formidable position as the Feb. 3 caucuses approach. But he still faces significant questions about his ability to broaden his base of support beyond white voters.
In a memo released Wednesday, Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, wrote that Mr. Buttigieg had “solidified himself as a top-tier presidential candidate” in the fourth quarter. He added that Mr. Buttigieg did so “not by tapping into the fund-raising list or bank account of a sitting senator or someone who had run for president before,” making what appeared to be veiled references to Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, two rivals in the primary race.
Mr. Schmuhl said the campaign’s staff had grown to more than 500 people nationwide, with 65 field offices in early voting states. In Iowa alone, he said the campaign now has 35 offices and more than 100 organizers.
The fourth quarter, which began Oct. 1 and concluded on Tuesday, is the last fund-raising period for which candidates will have to disclose their numbers before the caucuses, and Mr. Buttigieg was the first candidate to announce how much he had raised. Presidential candidates are required to report their fund-raising and spending for the quarter to the Federal Election Commission by Jan. 31.
Mr. Buttigieg’s total of more than $24.7 million was an improvement from the third quarter, when he brought in more than $19.1 million. He raised $24.9 million in the second quarter and $7.4 million in the first quarter.
Mr. Buttigieg’s fund-raising is particularly impressive because he did not begin his campaign with a big network of online donors, and he had not been a national figure before running for president. In the second and third quarters, Mr. Buttigieg raised more than Joseph R. Biden Jr. — who entered the race as a household name after serving eight years as vice president and 36 years as a senator.
But like Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg is scooping up large contributions on the traditional fund-raising circuit — a contrast with Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, who are not holding high-dollar fund-raisers and instead are relying on grass-roots donors.
At the December primary debate, Mr. Buttigieg took fire for his practice of holding fund-raising events with deep-pocketed donors, including one held in a wine cave in California’s Napa Valley. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” Ms. Warren said.
Mr. Buttigieg defended himself by criticizing what he described as “purity tests,” and he said that Democrats should not try to defeat President Trump “with one hand tied behind our back.”
Mr. Buttigieg recently opened his high-dollar fund-raising events to the news media. He also released a list of so-called bundlers who have raised at least $25,000 for his campaign. Mr. Biden has provided the news media with access to his fund-raisers since he entered the race, and he recently released a list of bundlers as well.
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