Trump far ahead of Democratic rivals in 2020 election fundraising

Despite the political woes that led to his impeachment, President Donald Trump raised US$46 mil. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s re-election team on Thursday revealed that he sits atop a staggering campaign war chest, underlining the scale of the challenge facing the US president’s Democratic rivals at the start of an election year.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, even as he was mired in a political scandal that resulted in his impeachment by the House of Representatives, Trump raised a staggering US$46 million.

It was his best fundraising period in a year that brought in US$143 million for his re-election efforts, the campaign announced.

“The president’s war chest and grassroots army make his re-election campaign an unstoppable juggernaut,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.

“Democrats and the media have been in a sham impeachment frenzy and the president’s campaign only got bigger and stronger with our best fundraising quarter this cycle.”

The president faces an upcoming trial in the US Senate, where a Republican majority is expected to acquit him.

Trump retweeted a report that describes his campaign raising a whopping $10 million in the two days following the impeachment vote.

The figures are significantly higher than Trump’s White House challengers including Senator Bernie Sanders, who has so far raked in the largest haul – US$34.5 million in the last three months of 2019 – of any Democrat in the race.

The Sanders team also said it has topped a notable threshold of five million individual donations, a figure his previous presidential campaign did not surpass until March 2016.

Democratic rival Pete Buttigieg also posted strong numbers, raising US$24.7 million in the fourth quarter, bringing his total for 2019 to more than US$76 million.

Buttigieg – who until Wednesday served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana – has been a surprise in the 2020 campaign, and leads in polling in Iowa, the state which votes first in the nomination race, on Feb 3.