Fundraising is naturally a huge part of the campaign of any candidate. However, it also raises questions about the role of money in politics.
Buttigieg has a phenomenal fundraising track record in the primary campaigns. Starting from relatively low name recognition, in 2019 Buttigieg raised an estimated $76 million across 733,000 people and two million donations. He successfully held both high-dollar and grassroots fundraising events, and can appeal to the full spectrum of donors. This speaks to his electability. While fundraising is not everything, there is a correlation between money raised and winning elections. Buttigieg is quickly proving that he is a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination, by showing he can progressively build fundraising support across the monetary spectrum.
Buttigieg's fundraising does not automatically mean he would win in an election. While his money may come from both large and small donors, his courting of high profile donors shows he is not in touch with working class constituents. Most notably, his fundraiser in a 'wine cave' in December 2019 drew considerable criticism. At the event, supporters could either spend $1,000 to have a photo taken with Buttigieg or $2,800 to participate in a dinner with him. This raises concerns about the role of access. While all voters may have the right to decide who they want to vote for and where they want to donate money regardless of amount, large donations buy access to Buttigieg in a way grassroots donations do not. Buttigieg does not understand the insidious nature of money in American politics.
[P1] Buttigieg's fundraising efforts have proved extremely fruitful for him, despite beginning from low name recognition. [P2] This speaks to his wide appeal.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P2] Fundraising support does not necessarily lead to votes.