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Warren campaign pleads for cash as 2020 donations stall

Megan Henney

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, in an email to supporters on Friday, said she’d raised $17 million in the fourth quarter — a fraction of her third-quarter fundraising haul.

In the memo, Warren’s campaign asked voters to consider donating “$2 or whatever you can” to help close the fundraising gap.

“So far this quarter, we’ve raised a little over $17 million,” the email, first reported by CNBC, said. “That’s a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter.”

During the previous quarter, the Massachusetts senator’s campaign raised $24.6 million from small donors, the second-highest amount among the crowded field of candidates. She trailed only Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who received a staggering $25.3 million from donors. Both candidates have sworn off the traditional big-money fundraisers, unlike 2020 rivals former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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If Warren’s fourth-quarter total remains at $17 million, it will mark a 31 percent drop from the previous quarter. The quarter ends in four days.

The development comes amid Warren’s faltering momentum; although she was essentially running neck-and-neck with frontrunner Biden during the fall, her campaign has stuttered since she rolled out a sweeping, $20 trillion proposal to eliminate private insurance and shift the U.S. toward Medicare-for-all.

Warren said her progressive agenda could be paid for with a series of taxes, largely via new levies on Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy, including a 2 percent tax on those worth $50 million and a 6 percent tax on net worth over $1 billion.

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The 2020 hopeful has clashed with billionaires and wealthy donors, attacking fellow candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- who’s worth an estimated $52 billion, making him one of the richest people in the world -- and accusing him of trying to buy the election.

The long-simmering debate over big money in politics erupted during the sixth Democratic debate in Los Angeles last week, when Warren went after Buttigieg for holding a fundraiser in a so-called wine cave in Napa Valley that was “full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine.”

“We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren said.

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