Far-left Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has had trouble gaining momentum on the road to the White House for 2020, and was hit with a blow after anemic early fundraising cost her presidential campaign its finance director.
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The 69-year-old presidential hopeful has worked to differentiate herself from the crowded field of Democratic primary candidates, in part, by shunning big-ticket fundraisers and donors with deep pockets. Instead, she has opted for smaller contributions from individual supporters.
According to the Daily Mail, one solicitation email sent by Warren's campaign read, "Grassroots movements win elections. Period. That's why I'm confident we can raise enough money to be competitive without holding fancy fundraising events, and without me calling up wealthy donors to ask for big checks."
The New York Times reported Warren's decision to shy away from major donors was made over the objections of her longtime campaign finance director, Michael Pratt, who jumped ship after failing to overrule the strategy.
While Warren was the first major Democratic contender to jump into the race, her fundraising has been weak. She posted a first-day haul of roughly $300,000 — a far cry from the $5.9 million brought in by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the record-breaking $6.1 million raised by Beto O'Rourke in the initial 24 hours of announcing their candidacies.
Warren's first-day numbers were also dwarfed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who posted $4 million during the same time period, according to The Washington Post.
Official numbers for the first-quarter fundraising are not due until April 15, but newcomer Pete Buttigieg — the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana — announced on Monday he has already raised an impressive $7 million in his bid, which has been dubbed "a longshot" by CNBC.
In a fundraising email obtained by the Times, Warren's campaign admitted her competitors will be able to rake in "fundraising figures we won't be able to match."
Warren's progressive agenda includes an array for policies aimed at fighting "big business," taxing the wealthy, and providing free goodies like child care. The senator, who was the brainchild behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is touting a platform that includes breaking up major tech companies and agriculture conglomerates, The Boston Globe reported.
The Massachusetts Democrat was forced to apologize for claiming to have had Cherokee ancestry for decades, after taking a DNA test last fall that showed she was likely only between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American.