Buttigieg Has 24 Billionaire Donors. Harris Has 17. Biden Has 13. Sanders Has None.
Buttigieg led the pack of 2020 Democrats with two dozen billionaires giving to his presidential campaign. Some of the more high-profile billionaire donors giving to Buttigieg include Blackstone executive vice chairman Hamilton James — whose own firm was criticized for gentrifying poorer renters out of their homes (similar to criticism of Buttigieg’s record as mayor) — and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, whose company paid $0 in federal taxes last year despite posting $845 million in profits.
Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) came in second on the billionaire donors list with 18 American oligarchs giving to his campaign. Booker’s billionaires include Microsoft founder Bill Gates (the second-wealthiest person in the world), Blackstone Group president Jonathan Gray, and tech billionaires like former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.
Close behind Booker was Sen. Harris, with 17 billionaire campaign contributors. Harris’ billionaires include big names from the financial, tech, and entertainment sectors, like Star Wars creator George Lucas, Laurene Powell Jobs (wife of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs), and hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry, who is also the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Harris’ healthcare plan (which she misleadingly calls Medicare for All) is modeled on “Medicare Advantage” plans that have been criticized for over-billing seniors by $30 billion since 2016.
Biden ranked fifth in billionaire campaign donors behind Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado). The former vice president counts Warren Buffett (the #3 wealthiest person in the world) among his donors, as well as ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Neil Bluhm and Herb Simon, who made their wealth in real estate, are also donating to Biden’s campaign. However, it’s possible Buttigieg may have scooped up some of Biden’s billionaires, as his poor debate performance in June led to at least one wealthy donor cutting ties to Biden’s campaign.