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Elizabeth Warren's War Chest In Three Charts

Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, addresses the crowd at an organizing event at McCoy's Bar Patio and Grill in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Warren is making her first visit to Iowa this weekend as a likely presidential candidate, testing how her brand of fiery liberalism plays in the nation's premier caucus state. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/AP

Massachusetts Senator Eliabeth Warren’s recent announcement that she was opening a so-called “exploratory” political committee to explore a possible presidential run was both a formal statement of her interest in the office – and a signal to donors to get their checkbooks. Warren was the first of a large pool of prominent politicians likely to take that step to formalize her proto-campaign; others are expected to make similar announcements in the coming weeks.

But Warren was already sitting on a substantial campaign war chest raised in recent years by her Senatorial campaign committee. How big is Warren’s stash? There are a few ways to answer the question.

Funds Raised

Between 2017 and 2018, her last Senatorial term, Warren raised about $38.5 million in donations. That’s substantially more than several other members of Congress reportedly considering a presidential run raised over the same period – including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ($23.5 million); New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ($26.8 million) and California Senator Kamila Harris ($8.2 million).

Total campaign dollars raised by Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders and Warren
Total campaign dollars raised by Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders and Warren
Lisa Williams/WGBH News

Cash On Hand

In terms of “cash on hand,” the amount left in campaign coffers by the end of 2018, Warren’s advantage narrows.

Warren’s Senatorial campaign reported $12.5 million in cash on hand at the end of 2018, compared to $13.5 million for Sanders, $10.5 million for Gillibrand, and $1.7 million for Harris.

Cash on hand raised by Senate candidates.
Lisa Williams/WGBH News

Donations, Large And Small

Between 2017 and 2018, slightly more than half of the funds Warren raised came from smaller, “un-itemized” donations – that’s a greater percentage of funds raised from smaller donations than was raised by the “grassroots” Senate campaign of Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

But other potential presidential contenders have raised (proportionately) more in small donations: Sanders and Harris each raised slightly more than three-fourths of donations from smaller donors.
Gillibrand, by contrast, raised just over one-third of donations from smaller, un-itemized donors.

Read More: Five Big Takeaways From Elizabeth Warren's Trip to Iowa

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