Listen to this article

Bernie Sanders is still the favorite among presidential campaign donors in Champaign-Urbana, according to the website Political MoneyLine.

The Vermont senator raised nearly $8,000 from 14 donors in Champaign-Urbana through June 30, more than three times as much as the second-place aspirant, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She’s raised $2,440 locally from seven donors. In third place is South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with $1,993 from eight donors.

Further down the list are the current national polling leaders for both parties. President Donald Trump has raised just $673 in Champaign-Urbana in this election cycle and former Vice President Joe Biden has brought in a mere $40.

Other candidates receiving contributions from Champaign-Urbana residents include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, $275; former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, $260; California Sen. Kamala Harris, $255; former HUD secretary Julian Castro, $229; author Marianne Williamson, $213; and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, $200.

Although Trump had only four donors in Champaign-Urbana, an independent, pro-Trump group — the Committee to Defend the President — raised another $150. The Republican National Committee collected $1,005. The National Republican Senate Committee raised $991 and the National Republican Congressional Committee raised $1,365.

The Democratic National Committee raised $4,705 in the community. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $4,584 and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee raised $942.

The presidential fundraising seems to be in line with the presidential primary results in Champaign County in 2016 when Sanders got 66.4 percent of the vote here to Hillary Clinton’s 33.2 percent, and Trump finished second in the GOP primary with 29 percent to Sen. Ted Cruz’ 37 percent. Trump lost Champaign County to Clinton in the general election, 54.7 percent to 36.4 percent.

Much of the local presidential candidate fundraising was of small amounts, sometimes as little as $1 or $5, through ActBlue, the online fund-raising platform that receives and distributes donations for Democratic candidates. Only a couple donors came close to the maximum allowable contributions — Allan Axelrod of Urbana and Michelle McKinney of Decatur — each contributed $2,700 to Sanders.

Presidential fundraising was skimpy in most other area communities. There were just three contributors in Danville who gave a total of $400 to Trump and $127 to Sanders. In Mahomet, one contributor gave $400 to Warren. In Savoy, Harris raised $50 and Trump got $35. In Monticello, three Democrats got all the money: $1,000 to Warren, $116 to Sanders, and $108 to Buttigieg.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker got $575 in Charleston, where Warren also got $250 and Buttigieg collected $150. In Mattoon, Trump received donations totalling $512.

Trump’s strongest area county was Macon, where he raised $2,202 from 11 donors. Still, he was outraised there by Sanders, who got a total of $3,050 from two donors. Trump won Macon County in 2016 with 56.6 percent to Clinton’s 38.5 percent — nearly the opposite of Champaign County.

Nationally, according to The New York Times, five candidates — Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, Harris and Biden — stand out from among the Democratic candidates. Sanders has raised $36.2 million in the 2020 election cycle, while Buttigieg has received $32.3 million, Warren $25.2 million, Harris $23.8 million and Biden $22 million.

Sanders has about 746,000 individual donors, compared with 421,000 for Warren, 390,000 for Buttigieg, 277,000 for Harris and 256,000 for Biden.

Tom Kacich’s column appears on Sundays in The News-Gazette. He can be reached at


Tom Kacich is a columnist and the author of Tom's Mailbag at The News-Gazette. His column appears Sundays. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@tkacich).