Bennet raises $2.1 million in third quarter, trailing rivals

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSome realistic solutions for income inequality Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (D-Colo.) raised $2.1 million for his presidential bid in the third fundraising quarter, his campaign said on Wednesday.

Bennet’s third-quarter total falls short of his second-quarter fundraising haul — about $2.8 million — and may portend trouble as he heads into a critical three-month period for the Democratic nominating contest.

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He ended September with $1.8 million cash on hand, his campaign said, down from the nearly $2.2 million he had in the bank at the end of June, meaning he spent more than he brought in over the past three months. 

Eighty-six percent of the donations to Bennet’s campaign were $25 or less, and 98 percent were $100 or less, his campaign said. 

Bennet’s fundraising total for the third quarter, which covers the period between July 1 and Sept. 30, is the smallest haul disclosed by a Democratic presidential candidate so far.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE’s (I-Vt.) campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised $25.3 million in the past three months. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE said he raised $19.1 million. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) raised $11.6 million in the same time frame, while Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) brought in roughly $6 million, his campaign said.

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Bennet has struggled to gain traction in national and early-state polls since announcing his candidacy in May, with most showing him hovering around the 1-percent mark or failing to register at all. He has also raised far less than the primary field’s top-tier contenders, putting him at a financial disadvantage in the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.

Shannon Beckham, a spokeswoman for Bennet’s campaign, said that the Colorado senator’s strategy hinges on running a lean operation in the critical early primary and caucus states, adding that the campaign has “the resources to compete and win.”

Beckham also dinged the criteria set by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to qualify for the primary debates. Bennet missed the cut to qualify for the third round of debates last month and is also expected to miss the next debate on Oct. 15. 

“Instead of allowing the DNC’s flawed debate criteria to dictate this race, we’re communicating directly with voters and caucusgoers,” Beckham said in a statement. 

“They believe in Michael’s agenda — one that will not only unite Democrats, but also win back the nine million Obama-Trump voters we need to defeat Trump and take back the Senate. Michael spent more time in Iowa in September than any other candidate, and we believe it will pay off in the long run.” 

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