Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren vowed not to participate in any events, fundraisers, or phone calls with wealthy donors in her 2020 Democratic presidential bid.
In an email to supporters Monday, Warren vowed to forgo all "fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write big checks.”
"For every time you see a presidential candidate talking with voters at a town hall, rally, or local diner, those same candidates are spending three or four or five times as long with wealthy donors -- on the phone, or in conference rooms at hedge fund offices, or at fancy receptions and intimate dinners -- all behind closed doors," Warren wrote. "When I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation."
"By then we'll be up against a Republican machine that will be hell-bent on keeping the White House," Warren wrote. "They will have PACs and Super PACs and too many special interest groups to count, and we will do what is necessary to match them financially. That means investing—starting now -- in each and every one of our state parties, and in our national party too."
Warren previously vowed to reject all PAC money and donations from federal lobbyists, CNN reported.
An email to supporters last week said Warren is "not taking any contributions from PACs or federal lobbyists, and she's not spending her time cozying up to wealthy donors who can write big checks."
"You can't say that about all the other candidates in this race,” the email added.
Warren sets challenge to opponents:
The pledge may deprive Warren of large sums of money that presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama relied on in their White House bids but also signals Warren’s attempt to combat the fundraising machines of Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.
Warren, Sanders, and Harris “are seen as the candidates with the most potential to bring in small-dollar donations online,” HuffPost reported. “Sanders notably raised $6 million in a single day after announcing his campaign last week, and Harris raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours after announcing her bid. Warren hasn’t released similar fundraising numbers – but she does have $11 million left in the bank from her Senate reelection bid in 2018. Other candidates including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio also have a proven appeal to small-dollar donors. But some potential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have almost no history of raising cash online.”
Small-dollar donors may drive Democratic primary:
"Small-dollar donors are going to be a pivotal part of this election, both strategically and practically," Erin Hill, the executive director of Democratic fundraising shop ActBlue, told NBC News. "Small-dollar donors don't just give — they also vote, volunteer and tell their friends why they care about a candidate."
ActBlue processed more than $1.6 billion in online donations in the 2018 midterms, five times more than it did in 2014.
But Trump has a lot of small-dollar donors behind him too. Seventy-five percent of the money his campaign raised last quarter came from donors who contributed $200 or less.
"Realistically," Hill said, "our nominee is going to need to be primarily funded by grassroots donors in order to beat Trump, who already has widespread small-dollar donor support."