Harris Campaign Spent $3 Million More Than It Raised Last Quarter

Campaign spends $14.57 million in third quarter, outpacing fundraising

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris / Getty Images

Kamala Harris's presidential campaign spent nearly $3 million more than it raised last quarter, raising further questions about the campaign's lasting power.

Harris's campaign announced at the close of the quarter on Oct. 1 that it had raised about $11.6 million, and hailed the haul as a success, saying the campaign secured "ample resources to execute a winning game plan." The campaign was mum, however, both on how much it spent during the quarter and how much cash it had in its war chest.

The campaign's FEC filing, released late Tuesday night as the candidates shared the debate stage, reveals it spent $14.57 million during the quarter, outpacing its fundraising by just under $3 million. The campaign, which began the quarter with $13.3 million in cash on hand, entered the final quarter with just $10.5 million, according to the filing.

The campaign also reported $911,069 in debts and obligations, consisting largely of outstanding legal fees owed to Perkins Coie, LLP, but also including fees owed to other campaign vendors.

The campaign's largest expenditures went to digital consulting firm Authentic Campaigns. The firm received $2,590,000 in disbursements from the campaign last quarter, bringing total payments to Authentic Campaigns to $5,245,000 during the cycle.

Harris's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Harris surged in the polls early in the summer, but has since fallen out of the top tier of contenders. Her campaign decided to shake up its leadership toward the end of last quarter, but said it was not a sign that things were trending in the wrong direction.

"We're in a strong position to execute our plan and win the nomination," campaign manager Juan Rodriguez told Politico, which first reported the campaign reorganization.

Part of the campaign reorganization was scaling back the responsibilities of Authentic Campaigns and moving much of the campaign's digital operation in-house, according to Politico. It is unclear whether this decision was made as a cost-saving measure.

Rodriguez appeared confident when the Harris campaign announced its fundraising haul two weeks ago. "As we have spent the summer months strengthening our infrastructure, we enter this final stretch of 2019 with ample resources to execute a winning game plan," Rodriguez said. "This is a campaign that is growing, expanding, and built to win this primary."

Harris was not the only campaign to spend beyond its means last quarter. Former vice president Joe Biden's campaign, for example, spent about $2 million more than the $15.7 million it raised. The only campaign further in the red for the quarter than Harris, however, was Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar's, which spent $7.8 million and only raised $4.8 million.

Only four candidates—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, and Pete Buttigieg—raised enough money to cover their third quarter spending.