MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — California Senator Kamala Harris unexpectedly dropped out of the Democratic race for president Tuesday.
Harris had a promising start when she announced her candidacy in January before 20,000 supporters, but she couldn’t overcome her biggest obstacle: Billionaires.
She posted this statement as part of her goodbye:
I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.
It’s a parting shot against billionaire candidates like Michael Bloomberg, who entered late, spent a lot of money and quickly moved ahead of Harris in the polls.
She is not alone. Most of the candidates for president get their money the hard way: Asking other people for it.
It is a sometimes humbling experience, as Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar revealed — to loud laughter at the last Democratic presidential debate — that she hit up ex-boyfriends for cash.
“In my first Senate race, I literally called everyone I knew and set what is still an all-time Senate record,” Klobuchar said. “I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. And I might point out it is not an expanding base.”
Most of the presidential candidates are not rich. Most are not billionaires. We know this because all candidates disclose their estimated net worth in Federal Elections Commission forms.
Their estimated net worth is based on houses and real estate, minus mortgages and debt. Plus investments like stocks, retirement accounts and pensions.
Here is how the candidates rank, according to OpenSecrets.org, from the “have lots” to the “have nots”:
- Michael Bloomberg: $53.4B
- Tom Steyer: $1.9B
- President Donald Trump: $1.7B
Then, there’s a steep drop off the money cliff. The multi-millionaires include:
- John Delaney: $200M
- Michael Bennett: $25.6M
- Elizabeth Warren: $11M
- Joe Biden: $8M
- Kamala Harris: $6M
Klobuchar reports a net worth up to $2.3 million, followed by:
- Andrew Yang: $2.2M
- Bernie Sanders: $1.8M
- Marianne Williamson: $1.5M
- Cory Booker: $1M
The least wealthy candidates:
- Tulsi Gabbard: $580,000
- Julian Castro: $509,000
- Pete Buttigieg: Below $166,000
The fact that Buttigieg is the poorest candidate of all hasn’t stopped him from raising more money on his own than almost any other candidate — with $51 million in contributions so far.
Here are some of the sources we used for this edition of Reality Check:
Net Worth: All Candidates
Fundraising: All Candidates
Example Of Financial Disclosure Form
Net Worth Of U.S. Families
Kamala Harris Statement On Ending Campaign
3rd Quarter 2020 Fundraising
Billionaire Contributions To Presidential Candidates
Pete Buttigieg 2020 Fundraising
Forbes Calculation Of Net Worth
Business Insider: Calculation Of Candidate Net Worth
Kamala Harris Drops Out Of Race