“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign.” That’s how Kamala Harris announced the end of her presidential campaign, taking shots at Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, the actual billionaires in the race, and blaming a lack of resources for her inability to break through the crowded field. Harris is the thirteenth Democrat to suspend his or her campaign and she spent the most to do so, according to campaign finance data compiled by OpenSecrets.org.
The thirteen Democrats who’ve dropped out of the Democratic primary spent a total of $74 million dollars on their failed bids. Harris led with $25.9 million, followed by Kirsten Gillibrand ($14.3 million), and Robert Francis O’Rourke ($14 million). Jay Inslee ($6.2 million), John Hickenlooper ($3.3 million), Steve Bullock ($3 million), Eric Swalwell ($2.5 million), Seth Moulton ($2.2 million), Bill de Blasio ($1.3 million), and Tim Ryan ($1.1 million) round out the list of significant spenders, while Joe Sestak ($166,724), Mike Gravel ($93,298), and Wayne Messam ($62,666) spent less than candidates in medium sized city mayoral races spend.
By the time Democrats settle on their nominee, much more than another $74 million will likely have been spent. Whoever emerges from the Democratic presidential scramble will be well-funded in the fall of 2020, but while Democrats are spending hundreds of millions on their nomination fight, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee are breaking fundraising records and sitting on roughly $80 million cash on hand as they set aside funds for the general election.