WASHINGTON — Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., raised $19.1 million for his presidential campaign during the last three months, his campaign said Tuesday. The figure represents a decrease in his fund-raising pace from earlier in the summer.
Mr. Buttigieg’s total for the third fund-raising quarter, which ended Monday, was $5.8 million less than the 2020 Democratic field-leading $24.9 million he raised during the previous fund-raising period, which ran from April to June.
“This is great news and shows that in a crowded field, Pete continues to stand out as having the vision and leadership voters know we need to tackle the urgent problems facing our country,” Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, wrote in a Tuesday morning email announcing the total. “It also positions us solidly as one of the top three fund-raisers in this race.”
But poll results indicate that Mr. Buttigieg’s fund-raising haul has not so far elevated him into the first tier of the campaign’s 19-candidate field. The latest polls of Iowa and New Hampshire show the 37-year-old mayor well behind Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and slightly behind Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Political fund-raising is traditionally harder during July and August as the attention of big donors shifts to their summer vacations. Aides to Mr. Buttigieg said he scaled back his fund-raising schedule during August and September to hold more public events in Iowa, where last week he took reporters on a three-day bus tour.
“Summer’s a little softer than spring for sure,” Mr. Buttigieg said Saturday after a campaign stop in Sparks, Nev. “But we like where we are. And the bottom line is, we have the resources to go the distance. And I think that’ll be one of the biggest things separating the campaigns.”
Mr. Schmuhl’s memo said more than 580,000 individual donors had contributed to the Buttigieg campaign since it launched in January, placing him well above likely thresholds to compete in future presidential debates. It said the campaign had raised more than $51 million since the beginning of the race. The memo did not reveal how much cash Mr. Buttigieg had remaining at the end of the third quarter.
Minutes after Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign released his total, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he had raised $25.3 million for the quarter.
Mr. Buttigieg has maintained an aggressive fund-raising schedule. His husband, Chasten Buttigieg, is a fund-raising headliner himself, and Mr. Buttigieg’s senior aide, Lis Smith, hosted a “drinks and conversation” event in Washington two weeks ago.
Mr. Buttigieg’s focus on high-dollar fund-raising events — he held at least 12 in September, according to schedules reviewed by The New York Times — has left him vulnerable to being tagged as the candidate of the donor class, a wealthy, almost entirely white demographic that is hardly representative of his party’s diverse electorate. And indeed, Mr. Buttigieg’s support is strongest among educated white voters; he is weakest among black and Hispanic voters.
On his bus tour of Iowa last week, Mr. Buttigieg said he was spending his fund-raising haul to hire staff — he has nearly 400 — and open the 42 campaign offices he now has across the first four nominating states.
“As long as we have a campaign finance reality like the one we live in, we’re going to continue to be uncomfortable and rightfully so,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “But we’ve also had a big grass-roots focus in our fund-raising from online to in-person.”
Mr. Buttigieg is among the first candidates to reveal third-quarter fund-raising totals, which must be reported to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.
Sydney Ember contributed reporting from Sparks, Nev.