Gillibrand Attempts to Fundraise Off Beer Pong Prowess

Kirsten Gillibrand / Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) is turning to a favorite college pastime to raise money for her campaign: beer pong.

In a Tuesday tweet, Gillibrand released a video playing beer pong with several supporters. "We need 65,000 individual donors to secure a spot on the debate stage. If you chip in $1, you can help get us there," she wrote under the video.

The video itself features Gillibrand, the 52-year-old mother of two, poised to launch a ping pong ball at three cups filled with clear liquid. Gillibrand tosses the ball, and the video pauses. The message, "If Kirsten makes this shot … Will you donate $1 to guarantee her spot on the Democratic debate stage?" flashes on the screen.

When the video plays again, Gillibrand sinks the ball into one of the back cups and lifts her arms in triumph.

"Donate $1 today!" appears on the screen as the people around her cheer.

Gillibrand's campaign recorded the video at a New Hampshire event over the weekend where she attempted to win over prospective supporters and lift her polling numbers above 1 percent. One of the most well-known candidates at the outset of her campaign, Gillibrand's numbers haven't moved much since she announced.

This video is the latest of Gillibrand's efforts to secure the necessary 65,000 individual donors needed to participate in the first Democratic debate in June. The New York senator has lagged behind fundraising numbers of her competitors, with only $3 million raised in the first quarter of 2019.

In the fundraising arena, Gillibrand ranks eighth of all the Democratic candidates in 2020 and last among the six senators running for president. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) leads the pack with $18.2 million. Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) follows him with $12 million and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke follows her with $9.4 million. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also ranks high, raising more than $7 million after announcing his candidacy in early April.