Obama’s supporters fuelling Buttigieg’s campaign

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Former Vice President Joe Biden drew dozens of Barack Obama’s fundraisers to his presidential bid during the April-to-June fundraising quarter, but his rivals — led by South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — also are capturing some of those elite bundlers, a CNN analysis of new 2020 campaign filings shows.

At least 40 top fundraisers to Obama’s 2012 reelection effort donated to Buttigieg’s campaignduring the three-month period, helping to catapult the once little-known mayor to the top financial tier. Buttigieg raised nearly $25 million during the second quarter, outpacing Biden and all his other competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In interviews this week, several Obama bundlers said the 37-year-old Buttigieg has energized a wide range of political donors.

“There is no question that people in the Clinton and Obama worlds started to connect and say, ‘Who is this guy?’ And ask, ‘Why is he so special?’ ” Rafanelli said about the early buzz around Buttigieg.

“Look, I have maxed out to Joe Biden, I love Joe,” he added. “But this excitement of getting people invested in someone running for president, to me, it is priceless. Whether Pete goes all the way or not, I think that is part of it. We are hungry for a solution. So, people are willing to say, ‘I am going to try this.'”

The CNN analysis looked at donations of at least $500 to Democratic presidential contenders during the second quarter from the individuals who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s second White House campaign in 2012. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics maintains records of past presidential bundlers.

Biden drew the most contributions: At least 89 of the more than 270 people who formed the top tier of Obama bundlers in the 2012 election donated to his vice president in the second quarter of this year. But Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker also scored donations from at least two dozen of those fundraisers.


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