Gillibrand Spends $2 Million More Than She Raised in Second Quarter

Gillibrand has transferred nearly $10 million from Senate campaign

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D., N.Y.) presidential campaign raised $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2019, leaving it with $2 million less cash on hand than the end of the first.

The Washington Post reported she spent $4.2 million in the same period, meaning she spent 182.6 percent of what she raised.

Gillibrand had $10.2 million in cash at the end of the first quarter, when she raised $3 million. Now, she has $8.2 million in cash, due largely to the $9.6 million she's transferred from her Senate campaign coffers this year to her presidential bid.

Gillibrand said at a Senate debate last year that she would serve her "six-year term" when directly asked if she would run for president. Almost immediately after winning re-election, she changed course and said she'd consider it before launching a White House exploratory committee in January.

Advance Media NY's editorial board ripped her sleight of hand, writing at the time, "Because the truth matters, and honesty is a virtue we value, we shouldn't let the president's falsehoods slide – nor those uttered by the candidates who want to replace him," the board wrote. "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, we're looking at you."

The Buffalo News was more blunt, writing Gillibrand "flat-out lied."

There's only $633,453 left from the $10.3 million in the Senate account she had at the beginning of the year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Both her first and second-quarter fundraising totals lag significantly behind the top of the Democratic pack, including fellow Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

Gillibrand's team reported she received an average donation of $15, with 65 percent of the donations coming from women.

Gillibrand's spending hasn't helped her standing in the polls. She's languished between 0 and 1 percent in national and early-state surveys and hasn't had a breakout moment in the large 2020 field.

She has not cracked the 130,000-donor threshold required by the Democratic National Committee to qualify for the fall's debates, although she claimed to be on "pace" to do so. She also needs to reach 2 percent in at least four qualifying polls before the end of August.

Her candidacy has leaned into abortion and women's issues, and she's touted her ability to be "brave" and take on President Donald Trump. Gillibrand has been dogged by questions about her prior conservative views on guns and immigration, although she has been a staunch liberal since entering the U.S. Senate since 2009.