A celebrity before he ran for office, President Donald Trump had little trouble raising the money to run for President. But this year’s Democratic candidates need to, at least in part, rely on the donations of other celebrities.
Ben Affleck, Elizabeth Banks, Jon Cryer, Eva Longoria, and Jerry Springer have all pledged at least $1000 to the presidential campaign of Sen. Kamala Harris. Celebrities such as Elizabeth Banks have supported Harris for years, with Banks posting a picture on her blog in 2015 with the former attorney-general. Harris has raised over $20 million overall for her 2020 Presidential campaign.
Beto O’Rourke is another candidate who has received a sizable number of donations from celebrities from multiple industries. Anna Wintour, Willie Nelson, and Cecily Strong are among the big names that donated to the former Texas representative’s campaign. O’Rourke has raised over $9 million for his 2020 presidential campaign.
Jane Lynch, Pedro Pascal, Ryan Reynolds, and Bradley Whitford are among the celebrities to donate to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. He has raised more than $30 million for his campaign and has received a lot of support from Hollywood celebrities. During the second quarter, more than 50 celebrities have made donations to Buttigieg.
These celebrity donations bring awareness to new candidates, and definitely help them gain popularity, but with a $5600 maximum that they can donate, these candidates need bigger sums of money to sustain a good campaign.
Billionaire Political Players
Big names like billionaire George Soros, the legendary hedge fund tycoon and political funder, are trying to match the funding that the lead Republican candidate, President Donald Trump, has for his own presidential campaign.
Soros is creating a super PAC, called Democracy PAC, that will serve as a way for him to spend big money on the 2020 presidential election. According to paperwork that he filed, he’s already put $5 million has already been put into the PAC, with surely more to come. In comparison, for the 2016 election he’d only donated $2.1 million total at this point. He is expected to spend heavily considering that he spent $20.5 million in the previous presidential election.
Soros’ PAC is officially called the US-Cuba Democracy PAC.
Tom Steyer is a billionaire who recently entered the presidential race, and only needs donations to be allowed in the DNC’s next presidential debate, to be held in Houston during the middle of September. Since he can fund his own campaign, the only reason he needs the donations is to meet the minimum requirements of the Democratic Party.
While some candidates rely largely on donations to further their campaigns, others use their large pockets to fund their campaign. It’s far too early in the election to tell whether the candidates that rely more heavily on the support of others, or entirely on their own wallet, will come out on top.