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Klobuchar’s presidential campaign spent one-and-a-half times more than it raised in the third quarter

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s fundraising total puts her in eighth place among her rivals for the Democratic nomination; she was in sixth place after the first quarter and seventh place for the third.

The deadline for presidential candidates to file their third quarter campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission was Oct. 15, the night of the fourth Democratic debate, by midnight. While other candidates had released their reports in the days prior, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s campaign filed its report close to the deadline, at 11:08 p.m.

Klobuchar, as her campaign said earlier in the week, raised $4.8 million. But not mentioned in her press release, which emphasized how she raised more money than the last quarter, was that her campaign spent $7.8 million. That means she spent about one-and-a-half times more than she raised, much of it on fundraising, staff, and digital consultants.

Klobuchar’s fundraising total puts her in eighth place among her rivals for the Democratic nomination; she was in sixth place after the first quarter and seventh place for the third.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who is polling on average at around 2 percent, surpassed Klobuchar’s total for the third quarter, raising close to $10 million and spending $4.4 million. Sen. Cory Booker, who often polls close to Klobuchar, raised $6 million but spent $7.1 million.


Of those consistently at the top of polls, only former Vice President Joe Biden spent more money than he raised in the third quarter: He raised $15.7 million but spent 17.6 million (over $1 million of it on private jets). Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $28 million and spent $21.5 million, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $24.6 million and spent $18.7 million.

The relatively high spending from Klobuchar’s campaign comes as she still needs to reach 3 percent support in three more qualifying polls before Nov. 13 in order to qualify for the next debate on Nov. 20.

“Klobuchar’s campaign is likely overspending because she is one of the few candidates in the Democratic primaries who is not among the front-runners but is not so far back that they have realistically no hope of making a push,” said Timothy Lindberg, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota Morris. “Spending now allows her to enhance awareness of her campaign and to establish herself more clearly as a relative moderate within the Democratic field.

“Overall this is an indication that internally the Klobuchar campaign is not giving up and continues to believe they could be a factor later on in this cycle after other candidates drop out,” said Lindberg. “Given the polling numbers Klobuchar is receiving in national polls, however, that is a significant uphill battle. Despite that, with nothing to lose at this point other than depleting her campaign funds, she has little incentive to withdraw from the race.”

Klobuchar has seen a notable upswing in fundraising since pushing back against Warren during the last debate, calling her health care plan a “pipe dream.” Her campaign says the Minnesota senator raised $1.1 million in the 24 hours after the debate. 

“We look forward to building on this momentum as we continue to make investments in our early state infrastructure and work to build a grassroots operation that can win big in 2020,” her campaign said in a statement.

Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/17/2019 - 12:28 pm.

    I thought she was campaigning for VP.

  2. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/17/2019 - 01:01 pm.

    Sounds pretty presidential to me.

  3. Submitted by Paul Yochim on 10/17/2019 - 01:45 pm.

    Didn’t Michelle Bachmann do the same thing?

  4. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 10/17/2019 - 02:58 pm.

    A pipe dream?

    Why would I give money to or vote for a candidate for president, if they say getting a better deal than $500/month plus a $7000 deductable is a pipe dream?

    That is not health insurance. That is Health Care with capital H and a capital C treating me like a debt serf until I am dead.

    I think the pipe dream is Ms Klobuchar thinking the middle of the road keeping Americans debt serfs is presidential.

  5. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 10/17/2019 - 08:52 pm.

    When DFL Congressional members from the State endorse other candidates, it is over. The VP angle is the only hope, and with Sen. Warren in the lead, that possibility vanishes as a two woman ticket might just be too much for the country at this time.

  6. Submitted by Henry Johnson on 10/17/2019 - 10:47 pm.

    William, I think Amy called Warren’s health care arguments a pipe dream because she refused over and over to say how she’ll pay for it.

    Klobuchar is for universal health care as well, but has her feet on the ground enough to know that it’s not going to happen in one fell swoop, as if all the rabid opposition to it, cultivated by decades of health insurance lobbying, is going to just evaporate and the house and senate and the American electorate will go for it overnight in 2020 or 2021 – that ain”t gonna happen IMO

    IMO, the public has to be EDUCATED to be convinced that net/net, it is a cheaper and more efficient option, as it reduces administration costs very significantly, prevents the emergency room from being used as a doctor’s office by the uninsured, makes preventative medicine available to everyone, so that more serious and expensive conditions can be detected early and treated more inexpensively and with better health outcomes, and that it is at least 50% cheaper as an option in every developed country that currently has universal health care!

    And that yes your taxes will be raised to pay for public insurance, but your employer will now be able to pay you a higher salary or per hour wage, because paying for health care has been taken off their backs as an employer – yes, higher taxes, but compensated for by an even higher increase in income!

    Those are the arguments that Warren SHOULD be using, arguments that help educate the public, so that someday maybe they will no longer fall for the health insurance industry propaganda that medicare-for-all would be a horrible, terrible thing.

    But instead, when Warren is asked if she would raise taxes to pay for it, over and over and over she REFUSES to answer, and instead pivots to her favorite whipping horse – rich people, oh they’re to blame for everything, and we should tax them into the ground.

    Now I’m fine with raising taxes on the wealthy somewhat, they are getting a heck of a free ride compared to previous decades, but with Warren, I’m seeing a pattern where that’s the answer to everything, and in this case, she’s a typical politician – refusing to answer the question and instead creating a distraction by going off on her favorite tangent.

    I would argue that we are going to need some fairly BROAD consensus that medicare-for-all is in fact a better approach in this country before it has a prayer of actually being approved by both houses of congress and signed into law.

    With her shrill, harpy, attack-dog personality, I seriously doubt that Warren is the type who if elected, is the right person to convince the public and moderate republicans on the benefits of medicare-for-all – especially since we see right in these debates that her style is NOT to educate the public, but to lash out at her favorite target instead.

    She’s not an educator, I hate to say, but like Trump, she’s kind of populist demagogue, riling up those villagers with her angry talk to go get the rich people.

    I think Amy would be much more likely to get us started on a path to actually achieving medicare-for-all eventually, because unlike Warren, while she can be tough as nails when it is required (look at her questioning Brett Kavanaugh and others in congress), she is very good at working cooperatively across the aisle and even quite a few republican voters in Minnesota would admit they like her, and her election results reflect that.

    You don’t get big legislative changes like this accomplished by being harsh, shrill and combative ALL the time, and I think that’s pretty much Warren’s style.

    In the end, I think you have to persuade and convince people of the merits of what you want to accomplish, and I think just generally in life, people who are overly shrill and combative almost always create resistance and create strong opposition from those not already in agreement with their ideas, rather than persuading those people to change their own beliefs and go along with a new approach.

    Not to mention that the first objective is to get elected as president, and to carry a lot of momentum into senate and house races as well, and I think shrill ‘pocahantas’ will make such as a good foil for Trump and the Trump-publicans to attack against pretty successfully, so that the risk that we’ll end up with another four tragic years with Trump is significantly higher if she’s the candidate.

    I think many, many undecided independents, quite a few moderate democrats and certainly moderate republicans who dislike Trump will have a hard time for pulling the lever for harsh, socialist Warren, while doing so for Klobuchar will be much easier and is much more likely to happen.

    Viewed in the perspective of previous decades, Amy is a solid liberal, but one who many undecideds, moderate democrats and even never-Trumpers would pull the lever for – and in my mind, winning is a pretty much crucial and all-important in 2020.

    I think Amy would also convince a lot of voters in those same groups to perhaps vote a straight democratic ticket, and that is needed to win the senate and keep the house – and without those victories, ALL of these democratic plans really ARE a pipe dream, at least that’s the way I see it.

    She’s also at a good age to be president IMO, I have real reservations about Bernie and Biden, as frankly I think they’re too old, and many people who’ve known Trump for decades say his speech patterns and behavior are indicative of an age-related decline as well.

    It’s a tough, demanding job, especially if you take it seriously, instead of watching TV and going to play golf as often as possible, so I think someone in their 70’s frankly doesn’t really belong in the job.

    • Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 10/18/2019 - 09:44 am.

      Henry….. A candidate has to be transparent. Amy Klobuchar is not, Amy continues to be vague and avoiding on important environmental issues like copper sulfide mining, line 3, wolf delistiing , et. al…. all very important to Minnesota and National voters. Thus, she is not the first choice candidate for Minnesota voters.

      • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 10/18/2019 - 11:58 am.

        While copper sulfide mining and wolf delisting may be important to Democratic Minnesota residents, I guess I’d have to disagree that those are “very important” to “National voters”.

        In fact I’m pretty sure if a national poll was conducted asking people to list their top 50 issues, these probably wouldn’t make the list for much of anyone outside of Minnesota.

        I agree that being transparent overall is important for a politician, and in that respect, maybe she’s disappointed on the issues you’ve mentioned, but on the truly national issues that are going to carry the 2020 presidential election, my point was that I think she’s way ahead of the current leader, Warren, who is putting in a real classic “I’m going to dodge, deflect, and avoid answering any of the tough questions” performance these days – and health care IS a very important issue on a national basis I think.

        Bernie I personally like much more to be honest for both his personality and his positions, and I think he is far more transparent, but frankly, with his recent heart attack, and the fact that he will be 79 years old if elected president, I think his age and health are both an elect-ability issue (for sure Republicans would hit his having a heart attack hard), and a practical issue of whether he’d be physically able to do the job, and do it well for four grueling years.

        I have similar concerns about Biden, who has rambling, ‘word salad” paragraph moments, where he almost seems to be doing an impression of our current president in that respect.

        I don’t know how you feel, but I think Amy beats him by a mile in terms of both elect-ability and the ability to being up to doing the job well.

        Who is your favorite candidate, and why?

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/18/2019 - 12:32 pm.

      Amazing. You called Warren shrill three times. Yeah, we know she’s a woman.

      What surprises me more though is that MinnPost mods allow such blatant sexism.

      • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 10/18/2019 - 07:24 pm.

        I’d say our president and very especially his personal attorney Giulianni are often “shrill” too, Giulianni rants and raves at the drop of a hat and to an extreme level, and they’re both men.

        You’re the one saying that the word shrill is a feminine adjective ( “yeah, we know she’s a woman”), so I’d say maybe you’re the sexist one here?

        Note this Oxford dictionary definition that gives two examples of people being described as being “shrill”, one describing a female and one a male, and note that the male example involves a political diatribe, which is exactly what I was referring to with Warren’s style –

        https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/shrill

        You say “yeah, we know she’ a woman’, so are you saying that women in general are shrill?

        Wow, now THAT truly is sexist.

        • Submitted by Michael Ofjord on 10/19/2019 - 06:32 pm.

          I think your analysis of Klobuchar versus Warren Versus all the others is spot on. I think age is an issue for Biden and now Sanders with heart issues. Warren not being able to quantify her medicare for all plan will be a huge motivation for Republicans to use that dreaded word socialist against her or anybody who spouts similar positions. Klobuchar is able to quantify what she says and she is tough without being strident. I believe she would win the presidency, as long as Democrats don’t think they have to be entertained like with the Republicans do with Trump. I like passion also, but not if it isn’t tempered with a sense of reality in the political world.

          The discussion about the use of the word shrill was an unnecessary side issue, in my view. When all is said and done, people vote for the candidate they most agree with, and when women run, they win around half the time.

          • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 10/19/2019 - 09:49 pm.

            Thank you Michael, I appreciate it!

            Yes, on medicare-for-all, I really think it’s a good idea myself, but the public has to be EDUCATED further about it’s virtues before enough will vote for candidates supporting it, and while Bernie has done that a bit by stressing that in other developed countries with universal health care their per capita costs are 50% less than ours, there is a lot more work to be done on that front IMO. ( Perhaps more than can be done before the 2020 election I’m thinking)

            There are other selling points to medicare-for-all, and a key on the “raising taxes” issue is that yes, you raise people’s taxes, but now employers are not saddled with paying for health care so they can increase the income paid to employees to MORE than cover the cost of those extra taxes, because you have about a 25% reduction in administrative costs for one thing.

            I would like to see the democratic party hire some experts and an excellent film maker to produce EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS to educate the public on the advantages of medicare-for-all.

            The public have been taught for decades now by politicians that universal health care is just awful, awful, awful, and those politicians of course having received contributions from the health insurance industry, and that indoctrination has to be counteracted to change public opinion I think.

            And yes, by her dodge of just refusing to admit that taxes will be raised, as you’ve said, Warren has really set herself up I think for republican attack ads that might be quite effective in hurting her chances if she’s the democratic candidate.

            On the attacks made by another poster over the use of the word ‘shrill’, I’ve noticed that instead of debating the issues and the candidates in a civil way, if one reads that particular particular person’s posts, many of them are more about petty personal insults or attacks on other posters, rather than honest debates about the issues, carried out in a civil way.

            I think that overall, instead of lashing out personally at other people when they have a different opinion, all of us would be benefited by treating each other respectfully, and just debating the issues and the candidates, with mutual respect – everyone has a right to their opinion and no matter how ‘right’ we think ours are, we might be wrong on that!
            ;- )

            I think one reason to do that, especially when the people have very different views and opinions is that I think it’s just a fact of human nature that you don’t start to change people’s minds and perhaps change their point of view at least a little bit, unless you treat them with respect and dignity.

            If you attack and insult someone, and there is far too much of that on these pages IMO (especially between Trump supporters and detractors probably) I think it’s almost a fact of human nature they will harden their existing opinions and outlook, rather than perhaps being open to at least consider another point of view to see if it has any merit.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/22/2019 - 09:43 am.

    Klobuchar has read the MFA bill so she knows how it’s funded. Why does she keep asking? It’s funny when people living a “pipe dream” i.e., they’re going to win an election… pretend to be the expert pipe dream identifyers.

    Anyway, Medicare for All, according to the current plan; will replace your current private insurance premiums with a lower pay-roll tax. MFA would cover MORE than your current private insurance, with no deductibles, or co-pays. Everyone would automatically be enrolled in MFA, you wouldn’t have to apply or qualify, and your coverage is irrevocable, no one can take it away… ever. The current estimate, which has now been verified by several economic studies, shows that most American families would save about $5k a year with a MFA tax instead of private insurance premiums.

    MFA creates a new federal tax that replaces more expensive premiums and pays for universal nationwide irrevocable health care coverage.

    It’s important to remember that MFA will NOT be the Medicare you may have now. As the single health care insurance plan in the nation, everything is covered no matter what provider you use. Every Dr., clinic, hospital, Dentist, optometrist, and hearing aid provider in the country sends one bill to the same insurance provider, and you get to use any provider you want- no more “networks” or coverage denials or nasty surprise bills.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 10/22/2019 - 10:51 pm.

      And candidate Warren will tell us all how it will be paid for in the coming months.

      Here’s a clue: Increase your federal income tax to 50%. That still won’t pay for it since about 47% of Americans pay no Federal income tax. If you are someone who does, well, there’s your answer. That and some revenue from somewhere else and you can have your annual physical for free.

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