Among Democratic 2020 Hopefuls, Kamala Harris Is Pulling in the Most Money From Big-Dollar Donors in Communities of Color

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Sen. Kamala Harris is the No. 1 favorite among big-dollar donors of color when it comes to the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020.

In ZIP codes populated by more than 50 percent people of color, Harris raised $1 million, according to April campaign filing reports analyzed by NBC News. 

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Harris pulled in more than any of her Democratic rivals, including more than twice that of her nearest competitor, Beto O’Rourke, who raised $408,000 in the same neighborhoods.

Sen. Cory Booker, the only other African American running for president, came in fourth in those zip codes, raising just under $400,000 during the same period, NBC News found.

While the first primaries are months away, Harris’ numbers could mean she has an edge over her opponents when it comes to solidifying a voting base.

“That’s an indication that she has real advantage, without a doubt, and can build on that politically, not just financially,” Tad Devine, a top strategist for several past Democratic presidential campaigns, told NBC News.

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The money moves also showcase Harris’ deliberate strategy to court minority voters and donors in a way that they haven’t been during past political campaigns, supporters of the California senator say.

“[It] is indicative of the efforts that Harris has put into making donors from the minority community feel welcome and supported and aware of the fact that there are donors in the black community that generally haven’t been touched in the way that this campaign has,” Susan Pease Langford, a lawyer who co-hosted an Atlanta fundraiser for Harris, told NBC.

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Harris’ efforts also seem to be translating to donors across demographics.

A McClatchy analysis shows Harris and upstart presidential contender South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg now being among the top fundraisers in the Democratic field.

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O’Rourke has been the biggest to lose out to the pair but, according to McClatchy, “Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have all lost more big-dollar donors from their past campaigns than they gained for their White House bids in the first three months of the year.”

Angelique Cannon, the national finance director for Harris’ campaign, told NBC News that Harris hopes to engage supporters, especially in communities that have historically been overlooked.

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“Our hope is to engage communities of supporters who too often don’t get the kind of engagement and outreach they deserve, and we have new donors inspired by Kamala who have never been involved in the political process before,” she said.

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