Kamala Harris, Trailing Top Rivals, Raises $11.6 Million in Third Quarter

Senator Kamala Harris of California has raised $11.6 million in the past three months, her campaign said on Tuesday, a total that almost identically matches her fund-raising totals from previous quarters, when she also raised around $12 million.

Ms. Harris’s third-quarter number is far below what some other candidates reported this week: Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., raised $19.1 million; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced an eye-popping $25.3 million haul, the largest of any candidate this cycle. Two other top tier candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. have yet to release their third-quarter totals.

Ms. Harris’s total for the second quarter of the year was $11.8 million, helped by a strong online donation push in the final days. This quarter, which included a summer largely spent at a slew of closed-door events and away from the campaign trail, Ms. Harris has seen her financial standing hold steady even as her political prospects fell. Polling now has her increasingly falling behind the race’s top tier candidates.

The announcement comes as the Harris campaign embarks on its new all-in strategy in Iowa, with an explicit focus on finishing in the top three in February’s caucus there. Though Ms. Harris’s fund-raising numbers have trickled downward each quarter, the campaign recently hired more than 60 political organizers for Iowa, and is largely expected to remain a key player in the Iowa and South Carolina primaries, through the strength of her early state organizing.

A campaign spokesman said about half of her total funds, $6.5 million, was from her digital fund-raising operation, which indicates small dollar donations.

“As we have spent the summer months strengthening our infrastructure, we enter this final stretch of 2019 with ample resources to execute a winning game plan,” said Juan Rodriguez, Ms. Harris’s campaign manager.

The Harris campaign did not disclose the total number of donors the money comes from. The campaign said its average donation was $34, lower than the $39 average they reported in the previous fund-raising quarter. Campaigns often point to small average donations as evidence that they are attracting a large pool of grass-roots supporters.

In its announcement, the campaign said it had nearly $10 million cash on hand.

Ms. Harris’s total is above more lower-tier candidates. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, for instance, raised $6 million, his campaign said this week.

“This is a campaign that is growing, expanding, and built to win this primary,” Mr. Rodriguez said in a statement. “We are ready to harness the energy of our thousands of grass-roots volunteers to phone bank, knock doors and turn out the vote for Kamala in these 2020 contests.”

In this race’s early stages, Ms. Harris showed all the signs of a possible coalition candidate, merging liberals and more moderate minority voters behind the strength of her historic bid to become the country’s first woman of color elected president. On the race’s first day, she raised $1.5 million, and she soon held a kickoff rally in Oakland, Calif., that remains one of the largest events for any candidate, with more than 20,000 people in attendance.

However, as the race has matured, Ms. Harris has been outflanked in money and ideology. Mr. Buttigieg has become the favorite of big money donors, and advisers for Mr. Biden, the race’s most prominent moderate candidate, are now considering a super PAC to supplement his coffers.

On the grass-roots side, progressives have centralized behind their two preferred candidates: Mr. Sanders, who retains many supporters from his previous presidential run, and Ms. Warren, who has grown her fund-raising base as her poll numbers have risen. She has outpaced Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders in recent polls, both nationally and in a few early-voting states.

Ms. Harris’s team is adamant that she remains well-positioned — and adequately funded — to mount a vigorous operation in Iowa. As Mr. Biden’s poll numbers fade, Ms. Harris’s advisers believe her campaign is likely to gain from this and can use a strong initial showing to centralize black voters in later states. Recently, Ms. Harris shook up her senior staff, in a move that was first reported by Politico, and was taken as an acknowledgment of the campaign’s tough road ahead.

Ian Sams, Ms. Harris’s national press secretary, said Ms. Harris had her best fund-raising day of the quarter on Monday. That day, she called on President Trump’s Twitter account to be suspended during an interview with CNN.

Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting.