Sanders outraised Buttigieg in Michigan last quarter, but Ind. mayor holds slight overall lead

Pete Buttigieg (left) and Bernie Sanders (right) in Detroit | Andrew Roth

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was the top recipient of Michigan cash flowing to Democratic White House hopefuls in the last fundraising quarter. 

The Vermont U.S. senator edged out South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was the top Democratic recipient in the previous quarter when he held a couple of high-profile fundraisers, one in Detroit and one in Saugatuck.  

Michigan donors fuel Buttigieg’s presidential campaign

Sanders raised about $248,000 from Michigan donors from July through September, according to a review of his most recent campaign finance report. Buttigieg raised about $236,000 during those three months. Those numbers include itemized contributions — all of those that exceed $200, and some smaller donations. 

Overall, Buttigieg has raised about $463,000 from Michigan donors — slightly more than Sanders’ $448,000 from the state. They’re followed by Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ($305,000), former Vice President Joe Biden ($251,000) and California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris ($169,000). 

President Donald Trump has raised about $2 million from Michigan donors so far this campaign cycle, making him, far and away, the fundraising leader in the state. However, that’s roughly the same amount as the Democratic candidates combined, according to the latest reports. 

Nationally, Sanders is the fundraising leader among Democratic presidential contenders. He has raised about $74 million, compared to Warren’s $60 million and Buttigieg’s $51 million. 

Buttigieg led the Democratic pack in national fundraising earlier this year during the second quarter from April through June, but Sanders outraised him in the third quarter. 

Recent polls among Michigan voters have shown Buttigieg stuck in single digits even as he has led the cash race in the state. An Emerson College poll conducted between Oct. 31 and Sunday showed Biden leading in the state primary with 34%, followed by Sanders with 28%, Warren with 19% and Buttigieg with 8%. That survey found that Biden’s support had slipped since March, while Sanders and Warren had gained traction. 

Sanders endorsed by Tlaib at Detroit rally knocking corporate greed

Biden still held the lead in a series of recent national polls, with Warren and Sanders trailing slightly and Buttigieg in single digits.  

In September, Buttigieg announced he had been endorsed for president by three Michigan mayors: Rosalynn Bliss of Grand Rapids, Jim Carruthers of Traverse City and Beth Bashert of Ypsilanti.

Elizabeth Warren after the first debate with Jennifer Granholm | Andrew Roth

Other notable endorsements include: U.S. House Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who endorsed Sanders during a rally in October; U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), who endorsed Warren ahead of the July debates in Detroit; and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), who gave Harris her backing after the debates.

Granholm donations

Michigan Democratic former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who’s now a CNN contributor and a professor at the University of California Berkeley, has donated to both Biden’s and Harris’ presidential campaigns. 

She donated a total of $1,400 to Biden’s campaign this year, with her most recent contribution in late September, according to the latest campaign finance reports. She donated $900 to Harris so far this cycle, with the most recent donation in June. 

Jennifer Granholm after the first debate | Andrew Roth

In late July, ahead of the Democratic debates in Detroit, Granholm told CNN that in order to win states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump’s Democratic opponents will need to make the case that his policies are hurting workers. 

“People who are in blue collar jobs feel like at least he’s trying something, right? That is the challenge for Democrats. Because what he’s trying is actually not working,” she said. “Those stories, they need to be brought out because what he’s doing is ineffective and worse.” 

Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.