Andrew Yang's Presidential Campaign Fundraising Surges by 65 Percent in Last Quarter of 2019

Andrew Yang ended 2019 on a high note with one of the largest fundraising surges in the Democratic presidential primary.

"If the people are on your side the money follows. The opposite isn't true," Yang tweeted on Friday morning.

The former tech entrepreneur raked in $16.5 million in campaign contributions in the final three months of the year. That's roughly a 65 percent increase from the $10 million he raised in the previous quarter, and a striking jump from his preliminary fundraising haul of $1.7 million at the beginning of 2019.

In fact, Yang had a higher percentage increase than some of the race's leading candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, even though they brought in more cash. He was second only to Amy Klobuchar, whose fundraising skyrocketed 138 percent between the last two quarters of the year.

Yang's increasing fundraising totals reflect his surprising rise in the Democratic primary. He started the 2020 campaign as a single-issue candidate, running on his "Freedom Dividend" proposal to give every American adult $1,000 per month in basic universal income. But his rise in the polls and his ability to meet strict debate requirements so far place him ahead of several career politicians.

Yang was one of only seven candidates, and the only candidate of color, to meet the requirements for the December primary debate. But his streak of qualifying for the events could come to an end in January. As of right now, Yang has eclipsed the donor threshold for the next debate but has not met the polling requirement. Yang recently sparred with the Democratic National Committee over the issue, arguing that there had not been enough surveys commissioned over the holiday season. But the DNC rejected his request to commission new early-state polling.

Sanders topped the field with $34.5 million in total donations raised during the final quarter, a 36 percent increase from his $25.3 million cash haul the previous quarter. According to the Sanders campaign, $18 million came in from 900,000 individual donations in December alone.

Pete Buttigieg came in just behind the Vermont senator in fourth-quarter fundraising. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor reported raising $24.7 million — a 29 percent increase from the previous fundraising cycle.

Biden, who has largely been seen as the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, brought in significantly less cash than some of his rivals. The former vice president reported raising $22.7 million in the last quarter of 2019. But that was still a 45 percent increase from the three months prior.

andrew yang democratic debate california
Democratic presidential hopeful entrepreneur Andrew Yang gestures during the sixth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California on December 19, 2019. Andrew Yang ended 2019 with one of the largest fundraising surges in the Democratic presidential primary. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren, who is regularly leading the polls alongside Biden and Sanders, was the only top-tier candidate to experience a decrease in campaign contributions in the final stretch of 2019. The Massachusetts senator raised just more than $21 million in the fourth quarter, which is a slight dip from the $24.6 million she raised in the third quarter.

But it was President Donald Trump who brought in more cash than all of the Democratic challengers. The 2020 incumbent raised $46 million in the final months of 2019, according to his campaign.

Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, tweeted that the president and the Republican Party "have built an unstoppable juggernaut [and] it keeps getting bigger and stronger." Parscale added that the campaign raised nearly half a billion dollars in 2019 and is entering 2020 with almost $200 million on hand.