At 12 months of election day, we examine who wins the race for the Democratic presidential candidacy for the United States.
Joe Biden has been the favorite since the beginning, but in recent months his lead has begun to fade.
The recently published fundraising figures suggest that the former vice president is also struggling to raise funds, highlighting a race that is far from over.
We looked closely at the numbers of these fundraisers, the way in which the national polls are profiled and the effects of the debates.
Although there are still 17 outstanding Democrats in the race (you can see them all here), we have focused on the candidates who qualified for the last debate – less Beto O. Rourke, who has ended his campaign last week.
At the moment, these 11 candidates are divided into three levels:
1) Joe Biden alongside two well-known senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
2) Pete Buttigieg, the young gay Mayor of Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend, Indiana, and California.
3) And the rest: technological entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Congressman of Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, former Texas Mayor Julian Castro and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.
The table below shows their results in surveys. It is easy to see that Warren is the runner-up from an average of about 5% in January to 20% in November.
Bernie Sanders remains a heavy competitor and oscillates between 15 and 20% since the beginning of the year. It should be noted that his number was hardly affected by the announcement of a heart attack in early October.
Buttigieg experienced a resurgence of impact after a cable discussion forum in March and largely took into account the support it received. Yang, meanwhile, has slowly built his support throughout the year.
Harris saw her statistics increase slightly, including criticizing Joe Biden's civil rights record in the June debate, but it collapsed shortly afterwards. For the moment, she examines the risk of falling into the third level.
The other five candidates have failed to gain ground and may well retire before the end of the year.
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Bernie still the main money man
The amount obtained by a candidate is not a firm sign of his eventual success – Jeb Bush, for example, led the race for the Republican currency in 2016, but was still beaten by Donald Trump.
However, it is a useful indicator of the excitement of their candidacy and, in the case of Bernie Sanders, there is still a lot of energy behind him.
As shown in the graph above, he has been collecting the most money from individual donors since the beginning of the year and his $ 25.2 million in the third quarter was the highest quarterly total of all applicants by 2020. Joe Biden, for comparison, raised $ 15.7 million.
Much of Sanders' power comes from the network of supporters that he built during his battle with Hillary Clinton in 2016. A detailed analysis done by the New York Times earlier this year showed that this network is strong. It was spreading across the United States – while most candidates get the majority of their support from the states they represent.
The other thing to note is how much Pete Buttigieg did. He has already raised $ 51.4 million, or $ 1.6 million more than Elizabeth Warren and more than $ 10 million more than Joe Biden – although the former vice president has come in race after the first quarter.
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Yang Gang keeps his man in the race
Pete Buttigieg has been up here the improbable star of the race, but the relatively unknown entrepreneur Andrew Yang has also exceeded expectations.
He is qualified for all debates and follows the financial pace of experienced Senators like Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker. In fact, in the third quarter, it has almost as much money as the two combined.
As the chart below shows, it is small donors (those earning less than $ 200) that are fueling his campaign – mostly powered by a dedicated website known as "Yang Gang". However, he will need this gang to grow offline if he wants to continue his campaign in 2020.
The campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were stimulated by small donors, but their proportion is lower as they also transferred funds from their campaign accounts to the Senate.
The other major advantage is that Tom Steyer ventures alone. He raised only $ 2 million from individual donors but invested $ 46.7 million of his own money in his campaign. Remember that he is the billionaire of hedge funds.
He has some friends in the Democratic Party, spending $ 100 million to support his candidates in the mid-term elections last year, but his trajectory to the presidency is at best uncertain.
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Meanwhile, Trump's war chest is still growing
While the Democrats clashed, President Trump's campaign set aside $ 83.2 million, more than the total of the three closest Democrats.
That's thanks to a record third quarter for his campaign and to the Republican National Committee, which raised $ 125 million, far more than the $ 70 million raised by Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee at the same time in 2011 .
A worrying sign for Joe Biden is that he finished the third quarter with only $ 9 million in the bank, a paltry sum for a favorite who faces strong opposition.
In contrast, its closest competitors – Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg – have all started the fourth quarter of 2019 with very healthy balance sheets.
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Warren now a pioneer
The debate in October saw a host of Democrats trying to knock out the leaders, and with the growing number of its polls, the main target was Elizabeth Warren.
The candidates were limited in time but were given a right of reply each time their name was mentioned by a rival – which is why Warren spoke more than five minutes more than anyone else on the stage.
He has been repeatedly criticized for not knowing how his universal health care plan would be funded, particularly by Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
Since then, she has given details about financing her plan, claiming that it would be largely paid for by businesses and the wealthy. But some of his rivals have already accused his number of not adding.
At the present time, nine of the 12 candidates who took part in the October debate qualified for this one later this month – but only five qualified for the month of December because it has stricter criteria to narrow the field.
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So where does the race run from here?
As the end of 2019 approaches, the focus begins to shift from fundraising and debate to voting.
The vote begins in February, when Democrat supporters of Iowa will be the first to take part in a series of election contests called primaries and caucuses.
These take place over several months, the party candidate having been crowned at the national convention in July.
At present, polls in the states that vote the most – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – herald a very open race. In Iowa, for example, Warren is leading with 22%, but is followed closely by Buttigieg with 17%, Biden with 16% and Sanders with 15%.
Here are the key dates of election day:
- November 20th: Fifth debate in Georgia
- December 19th: Sixth debate in Los Angeles
- Six more debates will take place, but the dates are not known.
- February 3: Iowa Caucus – Five Months Vote For Democrat Candidates In The United States
- 3rd of March: Super Tuesday – Primary and caucus held in more than 12 states
- July 13-16: Democratic National Convention: the presidential candidate is confirmed
- November 3: Election Day