A handful of key Democratic donors who were raising big checks for Buttigieg or considering publicly endorsing Bloomberg said Monday that they were throwing their support to Biden — and were persuading others to do so, too. The shift is part of an effort to consolidate the party’s donor class behind Biden.
Longtime donors and fundraisers on Wall Street and in the San Francisco Bay area, two major hubs of money for Democrats, said Monday that they were either switching support from Buttigieg to Biden, or seeing others who are now fully supporting Biden after considering publicly endorsing Bloomberg.
On Monday, a longtime Obama donor in Northern California who had given to multiple candidates during the primaries sent emails urging party donors waffling between Bloomberg and Biden to coalesce around Biden. And on Wall Street, Buttigieg donors were calling each other Monday to tell each other that Biden was the best alternative, barring a Bloomberg upset.
One longtime Democratic donor in New York said there were meetings scheduled with major Wall Street financiers starting Sunday through Wednesday, out of concerns about Buttigieg’s performance in South Carolina and anxiety over his chances on Super Tuesday. Those donors feared that Bernie Sanders would gain an insurmountable lead, said the donor, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about private conversations.
The Buttigieg campaign was alerted to those upcoming meetings as “a heads up, which is a way of saying: You can just imagine how those meetings are going to go if you’re not going to do well” on Super Tuesday, the donor said.
“I would unequivocally anticipate further movement toward Biden. I’m confident you will see it,” the donor said, attributing the shift to pragmatism rather than excitement for Biden. The donor relayed a conversation he had with another major Buttigieg supporter Monday who attributed their shift to Biden to “patriotic duty, and when I can come up with a second reason, I’ll get back to you in a few months.”
A longtime donor from New England who had supported Buttigieg made a contribution to Biden shortly after the former mayor dropped out Sunday. Thanks to such donors, Biden’s campaign saw a boost in fundraising Sunday evening.
There are still many Buttigieg donors and fundraisers up in the air, waiting to see how the race shakes out after Tuesday. One Buttigieg donor said it would not make sense to change his mind before seeing how Bloomberg fares Tuesday.
Buttigieg donors said they were pleased to see the former mayor’s trajectory on the campaign trail, and that they think he left the race at the right time. One likened it to “trading stock, and this was the best price to get out.”
“He has a superb future where he can continue to guide our well-being,” said Susie Tompkins Buell, a longtime Democratic donor in San Francisco who had supported Buttigieg. “A great energy to invest in [the] future.”