Sen. Michael Bennet (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.
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 Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised $25.3 million in the past three months. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he raised $19.1 million. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) raised $11.6 million in the same time frame, while Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) brought in roughly $6 million, his campaign said.
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.”