Billionaires Love Mayor Pete and Hate Bernie

Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty)

In case you were wondering how many uber-wealthy friends your presidential candidate of choice has, Forbes has a report out detailing donations to Democratic candidates from billionaires and people related to them. Turns out Pete Buttigieg has a lot of friends in high places.

The South Bend, IN, mayor has been polling in the mid-single digits for much of the race, but on this metric he’s the clear favorite of the ultra-wealthy, pulling in donations from 23 billionaires, including record industry executive David Geffen and IAC Chairman Barry Diller. Forbes also notes that Buttigieg had an event hosted for him by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, an education “disruptor” who sits on the board of KIPP Charter Schools.

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Behind is Sen. Cory Booker with 18 donations from billionaires (including Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt), Sen. Kamala Harris with 17 (including one from George Lucas), Sen. Michael Bennet with 15 (lol), and former Vice President Joe Biden with 13, including Schmidt and Warren Buffett. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has just 14,000 donors overall according to a recent New York Times analysis, has 11 billionaire donors. Following Hickenlooper is former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has 9. (A funny tidbit: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang have just one billionaire donor each, and it’s the same guy: Jack Dorsey of Twitter.)

What about the other two major candidates in the race, you might ask? According to Forbes, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just two billionaire donors (despite having 421,000 donations total donations, according to that same map) including Susan Pritzker of the Hyatt family. And as for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has so many donations from different people in different parts of the country that the Times had to make a separate map which excluded him entirely? Zero billionaire donors. None. Nada. Joining Sanders in the no-billionaire donors club are former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tim Ryan, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Let us call this what it is. It is unconscionable, my friends, that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we have presidential candidates who have no billionaire donors...and others who have nearly two dozen. We must change this, and we will change it. Thank you.

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