2020 candidates make their pilgrimage to Manhattan
According to reporting by The New York Times’ Shane Goldmacher this weekend, several of the Democratic contenders for president are wooing New York donors – who are a major source of campaign cash for both parties.
It’s only 877 days until Nov. 3, 2020, but who’s counting? According to reporting by The New York Times’ Shane Goldmacher this weekend, there are several potential candidates for president in 2020 who are already anxiously awaiting that year’s Election Day. In order to get a leg up in the race, several of the Democratic contenders are wooing New York donors – who are a major source of campaign cash for both parties.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are just three of the high-profile politicians who have recently made the pilgrimage to big-money fundraisers in Manhattan or the Hamptons. Some lesser-known names are also in the mix, like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Local politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey are also meeting with wealthy Democratic donors.
The prospective candidates have good reason to come to New York. “More than $500 million came from the New York City area to political campaigns in the last full election – the most of any single metropolitan region in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics,” Goldmacher writes. New York also had 15 of the top 50 ZIP codes for donating in 2016, the most of any state.
Most of these presidential hopefuls have other reasons to come knocking on the doors of New York millionaires, such as their own re-election campaigns. Biden also is promoting his political action committee to support Democratic candidates in the midterm elections. However, the ostensible emphasis on 2018 could be seen as a pretense. For example, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave a stemwinder at a recent fundraiser for a group focused on redistricting that spent more time focusing on his own record than on the midterm elections.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who made railing against “millionaires and billionaires” a signature issue in his 2016 presidential campaign and frequently boasted of his low average donation figure, has avoided seeking campaign contributions from New York’s moneyed elite.
The race to raise money from mega-rich New Yorkers is a free-for-all on the Democratic side for the first time since 2004. In the 2008 and 2016 elections, Hillary Clinton had the allegiance of the state’s donor class. This time, no single candidate can claim the unified support of that network. “While Mrs. Clinton was seen as holding a near-stranglehold on prominent New York donors, none of the current New York-area politicians considered possible 2020 candidates – Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio or Mr. Booker – engender a similar sense of near-absolute loyalty,” Goldmacher writes.
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