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Trump campaign said it raised $30 million last quarter, the largest haul since his election

President Trump’s speeches on border issues have prompted surges of online contributions from small-dollar donors, a GOP official said. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s reelection campaign raised more than $30 million in the first three months of the year, far outpacing each of the Democratic contenders who seek to oust him from office, the campaign said in a statement Monday.

It’s the largest quarterly haul since Trump announced that he would run for reelection, underscoring the president’s huge fundraising lead over a divided and crowded Democratic primary field.

Since January 2017, the most Trump raised in one quarter through his campaign and two joint fundraising committees was $21 million, federal campaign finance records show.

Unlike past presidents, who waited until after the midterms to raise money for their reelection campaigns, Trump began collecting contributions for his 2020 bid shortly after his election.

Here's why it will be tough for a Democratic candidate to catch up with President Trump by the general election campaign. (Video: Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

He is benefiting from a steady stream of donations of less than $200, the campaign said, showing the power of the president’s small-dollar donors at a time when Democratic candidates are working to build up their own fundraising bases.

And his campaign is stocking away serious cash. The campaign is set to submit its first-quarter financial data to the Federal Election Commission and will report cash on hand of $40.8 million — its largest amount in two years.

“Our prodigious fundraising is further proof of President Trump’s clear record of accomplishment on behalf of the American people,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in the statement. “The President is in a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for re-election, and only continues to build momentum.”

The Republican National Committee brought in $45.8 million in the first quarter, bringing the joint pro-Trump effort’s cash on hand to $82 million, the campaign said. The RNC’s total was its highest total for a first quarter in a non-election year.

Early fundraising by 2020 Democrats shows they are in for a long, drawn-out fight

Amid his small-donor bonanza, the president has also been cultivating large contributions. Trump’s fundraising schedule has picked up in recent weeks, including stops in California, Texas and Florida.

During a donor retreat in Palm Beach, Fla., last month, Trump’s reelection effort was slated to bring in at least $7 million over the course of a weekend, a Republican Party official said.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal fundraising figures, also said Trump’s reelection bid had raised more than $1 million online within a 24-hour span multiple times this year. Trump’s State of the Union speech, and other days when the president highlighted border security issues, brought in loads of online contributions from small-dollar donors, the official said.

In its statement Monday, the Trump campaign said it had “enlisted” more than 100,000 new online donors since the beginning of the year.

The campaign did not say how much money it spent during the first quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2018 — which coincided with heavy campaigning and advertising for the midterm elections — Trump’s campaign spent more money than it raised.

Democrats vying to beat Trump in 2020 have sought to highlight the large number of small-dollar donors powering their campaigns.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led a growing field in the Democratic primary race in the first quarter, raising more than $18 million. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) raised about $12 million, and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke raised more than $9 million — including more than $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his bid.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., raised $7 million — a large haul for a newcomer to national politics. About 64 percent of his total came in donations of under $200, according to his campaign fundraising report made public Monday.