EVERETT — His presidential aspirations may have fizzled, but Gov. Jay Inslee still proved popular when it came to raising money in Washington for his failed White House bid.
Since 2017, 2020 presidential candidates have raised about $5.4 million in the state, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.
Inslee, who exited the race in August, led all candidates with nearly $2 million in individual campaign donations.
Trailing the two-term governor is President Donald Trump, who’s re-election campaign pulled in $650,000 from Washington residents.
The leading active Democratic candidate is former Vice President Joe Biden. Since launching his campaign in April, Biden has raised more than $530,000 statewide.
Most of Biden’s money, some 90%, comes from King County residents, who are responsible for more than half of the state’s total contributions.
His average individual donation, $623.57, was the largest.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who dominated Washington’s 2016 Democratic primary caucus, has raised $484,000.
His average contribution was $60.26, the smallest among Democrats.
Snohomish County residents have given his campaign $38,000, leading all other candidates. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren trails with about $20,000. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($15,800), Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ($13,600) and Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ($8,800) all lead Biden, who’s raised $6,300 in the county.
In all, county residents have donated more than $220,000 to presidential candidates, the third most in the state, trailing King and Pierce counties.
Of the state’s 39 counties, Sanders leads fundraising in 22, including Snohomish County. Warren raised the most money in six counties.
Sanders was the top fundraiser in most Snohomish County cities. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar dominated Arlington by raising $11,000.
In Monroe, Buttigieg out-raised the other candidates by $2,000.
Businessman Andrew Yang’s $3,000 from Mill Creek topped all Democrats.
Additionally, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised more money than all active Democrats by $2,000 in Woodway.
Candidates get money from other sources, too, like political action committees and transfers from previous campaigns.
Todd Donovan, a political science professor at Western Washington University, said the field of Democrats will dwindle dramatically by the state’s primary in March.
Additionally, Sanders’ strong 2016 performance in Washington will be difficult to replicate, Donovan said.
He cited Iowa, where Sanders narrowly lost in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. Now, the Vermont senator is polling around 15%.
A lot of the money candidates are raising in Washington likely won’t be spent in the state, with a focus on performing well in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Donovan said.
“There is something to be gained by betting it all on those early states,” he said. “After Iowa and New Hampshire, it might not matter. You don’t want to be left holding onto it.”
Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; email@example.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.
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