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Trump campaign amasses $30 million campaign war chest

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President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has amassed a huge $30 million war chest in the first three months of 2019, with the sum equalling that raised by the top two Democrat challengers in 2020 combined.

Having raised $10 million at the end of 2018, the Trump campaign revealed to news outlets Sunday that it now has a total of $40 million cash on hand, with a further $45 million in total raised by the Republican National Committee in the first quarter.

The sum starkly highlights the financial advantage the Trump campaign has over the jostling crowd of Democrats seeking to take on the president in 2020.

The top two Democratic candidates in terms of fundraising, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, have raised just $30 million between them. Vermont senator Sanders has raised $18.2 million in the first quarter, while California senator Harris pulled in $12 million in the quarter.

More Democrats will be revealing their first quarter fundraising sums on Monday, the deadline for Federal Election Commission fundraising and spending disclosures.

Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, told the Associated Press that Trump was building pace as he fights for his re-election.

Trump is in “a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for re-election, and only continues to build momentum,” Parscale said.

The sum is not unprecedented, with President Barack Obama having gathered $47 million for his reelection campaign three months after launching his bid for a second term in April 2011, reported the New York Times.

The Trump campaign aims to break the $1 billion barrier in terms of funding, matching the amount raised by Obama in his 2012 campaign.

The campaign claimed that 99% of the money was amassed from donations of under $200, with the average donation around $34. Democrat candidates have also been keen to stress their reliance on small sum grassroots donations.

Breaking with precedent, Trump began his campaign for reelection only months after taking office, and his speeches at raucous rallies, where he vents against enemies and whips up his base, have become a mainstay.

Trump funded the initial stages of his 2016 presidential campaign from his own pocket, but drew on RNC funds after securing the GOP nomination. Aides do not expect the president to use his own money to fund his re-election campaign, the AP said.

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