It may not be the sexiest part about running for president, but you can't have a winning campaign without a steady stream of cash.
Some candidates can leverage their existing donor base or their own deep pockets for an instant infusion of cash. But for other, less known, presidential hopefuls, they have to find a way to keep their campaign funded if they want to have room to run.
Recent campaigns by once lesser-known Democrats like Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke show that it's possible to build a fundraising juggernaut from scratch in a matter of months. But it doesn't hurt to have a cushion of a few million dollars to hit the ground running and take the pressure off in the early weeks and months.
So while the first quarter of 2019 will be the real kickoff to the 2020 fundraising circuit, many possible presidential hopefuls spent the last cycle quietly amassing funds that could be immediately used to run for president. That’s because any money raised into a candidate’s House or Senate campaign account can be transferred directly into that same candidate’s presidential account if they decide to run, as long as they follow individual donation limits and other campaign finance laws.
Here's a breakdown of much money the field of possible Democratic presidential candidates closed the 2018 cycle with, according to Federal Election Commission reports through Nov. 26.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren—$12.5 million
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand—$10.5 million
Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders—$8.8 million
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar—$4.4 million
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker—$4.1 million
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard—$2.1 million
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown—$1.8 million
California Sen. Kamala Harris—$1.7 million
California Rep. Eric Swalwell—$1.7 million
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley—$1.6 million
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey—$603,000
Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke—$477,000
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan—$166,000
Maryland Rep. John Delaney—$78,000
West Virginia Rep. Richard Ojeda—$42,375