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Klobuchar’s presidential bid leans heavily on Minnesota donors

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Leah Millis
Of the $2.5 million Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised in the second quarter from individuals, about $700,000 came from Minnesotans — 28 percent.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s recent fundraising totals put her in striking distance of qualifying for the third Democratic debate. So far in the campaign, the Minnesota senator raised $12.7 million from more than 100,000 unique donors. To participate in the third Democratic debate in September, candidates need contributions from 130,000 unique donors.

Klobuchar’s fundraising puts her in the middle of the large pack of Democratic presidential candidates. But it matters where those donations came from.

As a three-term senator from Minnesota, Klobuchar has built a big base of support in the North Star State. Now, five months into a national campaign for the presidency, how successful has she been at drawing in supporters from outside the state?

Home state fundraising advantage

Klobuchar’s biggest source of donations is Minnesota, her home state. Of the $2.5 million Klobuchar raised in the second quarter from individuals that are itemized in the report, about $700,000 came from Minnesotans — 28 percent.

(A note about the data: our state analysis only looks at itemized individual donations. Candidates are only required to report names and addresses of donors who give over $200, though some candidates itemize smaller donations.)

Itemized individual donations to Klobuchar by state, second quarter
Source: Federal Elections Commission

It shouldn’t be surprising that Klobuchar has gone back to donors in her home state who may have given to her previous Senate campaigns. But other senators in the race have been more successful reaching donors from other states.


For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $5.5 million in individual donations in the second quarter, only $79,000 of them from his home state of Vermont.

Itemized individual donations to Sanders by state, second quarter
Source: Federal Elections Commission

Of course, Sanders has an established nationwide fundraising operation from his presidential campaign in 2016. What about Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts?

Itemized individual donations to Warren by state, second quarter
Source: Federal Elections Commission

Minnesota and Massachusetts have somewhat comparable populations — Minnesota has 5.6 million people and Massachusetts has 6.9 million. Warren raised a lot more cash from out-of-state than Klobuchar: of the $6.4 million she raised in the second quarter from individuals that’s itemized, only $800,000 came from Massachusetts donors — 13 percent.


Sen. Kamala Harris represents a special case since her home state of California also happens to be the nation’s most populous and a large source of donations to all campaigns. She raised $6.5 million from individuals, half of which come from California.

Itemized individual donations to Harris by state, second quarter
Source: Federal Elections Commission

Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, has the fundraising profile most similar to Klobuchar. He raised $3.3 million in itemized individual contributions, 29 percent of which came from New Jersey.

Itemized individual donations to Booker by state, second quarter
Source: Federal Elections Commission

Support from Minnesota may be drying up

Klobuchar’s dependence on Minnesota donors could be a problem as high profile Minnesota contributors hit caps on the maximum legal amount allowed to be contributed — $2,800 per person in the primary and $2,800 in the general election.

Klobuchar’s donor list already features some of the heavy hitters of DFL politics, with names like former Vice President Walter Mondale, Robert and Rebecca Pohlad, Vance Opperman, Alida Messinger, Andrew Dayton, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan and Jay and Page Cowles.

Support for Klobuchar from Minnesotans already appears to be slowing down.

In the first quarter, Klobuchar raised $1.2 million in individual contributions from Minnesotans. In the second quarter, that number dropped to $699,000.

That puts her in league with Booker, whose home-state haul dropped between the fist and second quarters. Warren, by contrast, went from raising $433,000 in the first quarter to $807,000 in the second from Massachusetts.

Fundraising totals

Here are the totals raised from all sources by the entire Democratic field in the second quarter:

Total raised by Democratic candidate, second quarter
Note: Data do not include Joe Sestak, who entered the race late in the quarter, or Tom Steyer, for whom a report was not available on the FEC's website.
Source: Federal Elections Commission

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Comments (22)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/19/2019 - 11:58 am.

    Who the heck is John Delaney?

  2. Submitted by Kamille Cheese on 07/19/2019 - 04:07 pm.

    Senator Klobuchar is doing a lot better than I thought when I first learned that she was running. She seems too nice. It’s definitely time for some “Minnesota nice!”

  3. Submitted by JUDITH MONSON on 07/19/2019 - 05:01 pm.

    I question the accuracy of the data in your final graph. Buttigieg raised 24.8 million. I believe Biden around 21 mill. Warren’s take exceeded Sanders’ 19 mil to 18 mil. I recognize some campaigns could have moved money from other sources (e.g. Sanders), but as to actual amounts raised in the 2nd quarter, please check your figures.

  4. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 07/20/2019 - 10:19 am.

    Perhaps if Ms Klobuchar gave the impression that she works for working people, less a clintonite neoliberal working for the benefit of corporations, banks and billionaires, she wouldn’t “cap out” so quickly?

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/21/2019 - 10:06 am.

    Klobuchar’s fundraising strategy was always a little goofy. Centrists don’t get their money from large number of small donors because they don’t run on popular platforms. Kobuchar’s actually condescending to the donor base she says she’s appealing to. You don’t tell people the programs they need are silly and expect to get money from them.

    • Submitted by Jerry Dow on 07/21/2019 - 11:58 pm.

      Joe’s a centrist and he’s also goofy. Sanders’ numbers are not as good as Joe, but has more dough. Mayor Pete is also strong on money but is boring a speaker with a weak sales pitch. Warren’s the real deal with money, professional staff and strong CA doner support. Harris is awful. No charm. No warmth. Not smart. Booker’s a wet match. Klobuchar’s very level headed, good speaker with thoroughly thought through policy positions. She is a smart political tactician, and is positioned to be the recipient of Joe’s centrist support. Joe will never be president because Americans know he can’t wip Trump. But a moderate Dem like Amy maybe. Bui doubt it. T2020.

  6. Submitted by Jim Marshal on 07/21/2019 - 12:11 pm.

    I don’t think any right wing Democrat such as Amy will be able to elicit much in the way of small individual donations. Her record speaks for itself and it just doesn’t inspire the wage earning masses or make them want to open their wallets to someone like her

    • Submitted by Dennis Stone on 07/22/2019 - 02:23 pm.

      It’s a rather ludicrous alteration of the meaning of terms to describe Klobuchar as “right wing.” That flies in the face of what the term “right wing” has always meant. You can disagree with her, or see her opinions as less left than yours, but if we want to use the established meaning of words she has to be described as liberal or progressive. As Eric Black from this very site pointed out earlier this year, the Americans For Democratic Action (the “definition of liberalism” per Black) has never given her a rating lower than 85% since she’s been in the Senate, and she got a 100 in three years. As Black concludes: “These are the ADA scores of a very solid liberal, which is what Klobuchar always has been and still is.”

      https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2019/02/is-amy-klobuchar-a-moderate/

      One of the most disturbing developments of the past 20 years has been the degree to which Americans have inserted themselves into narrow thought silos from which they never venture, and so they have a skewed view of the world. The right wing does it, and the left wing does it. What scares me is that this phenomenon could well result in the reelection of Trump while my fellow progressives have no understanding about what is really going on.

      • Submitted by Jim Marshal on 07/22/2019 - 08:51 pm.

        But if there is a left wing of the party, there must, logically, be a right. And it is equally obvious to those paying attention who represents that right wing: figures like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar come to mind. Our corporate media is funded by the same sources that fund both parties and broadly share the same ideology, hence the reluctance to critique them. By refusing to position them on the political scale or falsely identifying them as left of center, they are attempting to close the window and prevent a leftward shift in US politics. This is a common occurrence in media and has the effect of normalizing the right wing of the party as the default.

      • Submitted by Dennis Stone on 07/22/2019 - 11:50 pm.

        Jim, I’m afraid you’re making the mistake I see so, so many on the left making these days, i.e., letting your ideology trump (pun intended) the facts. We don’t get to individually set up our own scale of left to right, and then call anyone to the right of us “right wing.” You’re doing the mirror image of the far right folks who routinely called John McCain and Lindsey Graham left wingers.

        On any even remotely agreed upon scale, none of Pelosi, Biden or Klobuchar would be even close to right wingers, or even centrists. They are just less left wing than far left wingers would like. Someone like Joe Manchin or Tim Ryan could be considered on the right, but if you’re looking at the country as a whole both would be centrists. Way too many progressives think the country is far more left than it really is. According to Gallup polling, conservatives and moderates are each individually far more common than liberals, and ALWAYS have been. Check out their historical polling: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245813/leans-conservative-liberals-keep-recent-gains.aspx

        The gap between liberals and either conservatives and moderates has narrowed a bit over the years, but even today, to quote Gallup: “Americans’ assessment of their political ideology was unchanged in 2018 compared with the year prior when 35% on average described themselves as conservative, 35% as moderate and 26% as liberal.”

        I have held progressive views on most issues since I was 15 years old (some of them way left). BUT the idea of compromise is not right wing. The idea of moving toward progressive cultural changes in more of an evolutionary rather than sudden way is not right wing. The idea that economic impacts of proposed policy changes should be considered is not right wing. And most importantly, the idea that we should consider the nature of the country when we nominate a candidate is not right wing. There is a reason the U.S. has NEVER elected anyone in my lifetime who isn’t to some degree a centrist is not an accident.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/24/2019 - 11:48 am.

          “The gap between liberals and either conservatives and moderates has narrowed a bit over the years, but even today, to quote Gallup: “Americans’ assessment of their political ideology was unchanged in 2018 compared with the year prior when 35% on average described themselves as conservative, 35% as moderate and 26% as liberal.”

          These polls have always failed capture liberal nuances. These polls have always relied on self identification on a political landscape that has been dominated by neoliberal and centrist bias. If actually look at almost any issue, from abortion to Social Security you find that a majority of American’s support liberal positions. For instance 26% of Americans may not identify as liberals, but a majority of American’s support single payer, abortion rights, living wages, environmental protections, firearm regulation, gender equality, etc. People have different reasons for identifying as liberals or moderates etc, but if you drill down into what kinds of policies a majority support, you find more support for liberal agendas and policies, and the trend is increasing world-wide. Tax cuts for instance are not actually super popular, most people don’t mind paying taxes as long as they know where and what their taxes are paying for. look at the gay marriage debate for instance, the moral majority has always been a real minority on the issues.

          Klobuchar, Biden, HRC, are absolutely centrists, the entire “New Democrat” movement they subscribe to and actually created is based on triangulating the middle ground, that’s documented history.

          The problem with the American Landscape over the last few decades is that there simply has been no real liberal alternative or representation, beyond a few representatives like Wellstone and Sanders.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/24/2019 - 11:58 am.

          You can obviously have different “wings” within a political Party, Joe Liberman was the right wing of the Democratic Party, and you have the other Blue Dogs as well. As Democrats you don’t expect them to be as right wing as some Republicans, but they’re NOT liberals.

          Centrism has been the antidote to Progressive politics for decades. Oddly enough “centrists” can’t actually claim to be in the center of anything, and incremental changes and status quo defenses they champion may or may not fall somewhere in a political spectrum, but that’s not the point. The point is that centrism has produced failed polices, paralysis, and legislative gridlock.

          • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/25/2019 - 10:22 am.

            So, are you saying that you believe you would be as displeased now with an HRC administration as you are with Trump?

            I listened to Pete B. tell that “just returning to normal” does not win this election. “Returning to normal” absolutely wins this election. Imagine, a president who does not have an irrepressible need to stick his finger in someone new’s eye everyday. Who is not as omnipresent as Mussolini in daily media. Who gets along with our traditional allies and opposes dictators and strongmen. That’s a big improvement on the status quo and I’ll take it.

            HRC lost because of PA, MI and WI. Mostly blue collar, working class voters. Biden V Trump polling shows “Joe from Scranton” with double digit leads in each of these states over Trump. If Biden insures no DJT second term, start the revolution without me…

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/26/2019 - 10:10 am.

              Edward, I don’t answer silly questions.

              Polls showed Clinton winning, she lost. The fact that Polls my show Biden winning are no more proof of his electability than they are Clinton’s or any other Centrist.

              Clinton lost because she was a crappy candidate. Had Clinton not been a crappy candidate a contest with Donald Trump could not possibly boil down to three States. And before you point to popular vote, let me remind you Clinton lost… she is NOT our president. The Electoral College isn’t some newfangled thing we came up for Donald Trump, Clinton and her campaign were well aware of the nature of presidential elections and how to win them.

  7. Submitted by Dennis Stone on 07/21/2019 - 02:43 pm.

    Nothing in this story is at all surprising (which is not at all a criticism), except for the fact that Buttigieg had the second most donations in the second quarter. He’s pretty much plateaued in the polls right now, so this is good news for those of us who would like to see him succeed. I originally favored Klobuchar, for multiple reasons, but it’s looking like she’s not going to get traction. I’d really like to see Delaney break through since his voice is needed in this debate, so his relative fund raising success is encouraging.

    I’m getting concerned about this election cycle since as things stand now Trump has a reasonably good shot at being reelected. Biden has issues, and the other candidates best equipped to beat Trump just aren’t doing very well. I’d certainly like to see a lot more independent, genuine thought start to replace the rampant pandering that is dominating the discussion right now.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 07/22/2019 - 09:01 am.

      Delaney’s fundraising ‘success’ amounts to him self funding to the tune of 96.5% of his total haul. If he wasn’t extremely wealthy, his fundraising would be dead last. He has very little fundraising (or polling) support. His polling is < 1%. There's not much for the Delaney supporter to be encouraged about.

  8. Submitted by David Lundeen on 07/22/2019 - 10:05 am.

    Don’t give her a dollar until she addresses the MPCA suppression of documents regarding Polymer. She is getting off to easy in Minnesota by her constituents for her repeated failure to address copper mining.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Stone on 07/22/2019 - 01:53 pm.

    Tom, thanks for that info. I’m a data analyst by profession, but I hadn’t had a chance to research fund raising at all. After a very brief search I see you are absolutely correct. The MinnPost chart is really misleading because it includes all “receipts,” not just fundraising, and so the chart gives some incorrect impressions, such as regarding Delaney. Most of Delaney’s receipts were loans from himself to the campaign. I also see (refer to the link below, which shows results of actual fundraising) that Bernie Sanders was actually fourth, not first, and so the MinnPost graph apparently includes loans for him as well. The bottom line is that Buttigieg was actually the leading fundraiser.

    https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/2020-election-campaign-fundraising/index.html

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 07/25/2019 - 10:16 am.

      Most of the current Congress critters – like Sanders – also transfer $s from their Senate/HR campaigns. However, if the source of contributions is important to you, you’ll want to take note that only Sanders, Warren and Mike Gravel have eschewed contributions from PACs and industry. There a few others that have pledged to do so also but have not lived up to that pledge: Biden, Gillbrand, ORorke, Booker, Castro

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