Tim Ryan faces uphill battle in 2020 presidential race

Howland congressman raised $889,398 in second quarter

WARREN — Congressman Timothy J. Ryan in his 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination is way off the fundraising pace set by more well-known candidates in the 20-person race to see who will challenge President Donald Trump.

Ryan’s 0.3 percent polling number also ties him for last in the pack with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, according to poll averages put together by Real Clear Politics.

Ryan’s presidential committee, Tim Ryan for America, reported to the Federal Election Commission it raised $889,398 in the second quarter of 2019. His campaign reported the money came from more than 13,000 individual donors.

To compare, Pete Buttigieg, who entered the race months ago as the little-known mayor of South Bend, Ind., led the field of White House hopefuls in the second quarter with $24.8 million.

He was followed by former Vice President Joe Biden, who raised $21.5 million. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren bounced back from a lackluster first quarter and came in third with $19.1 million. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders posted $18 million, while California Sen. Kamala Harris reported raising about $12 million.

Real Clear Politics has Biden ahead in the polls at 27.3 percent. He is followed by Warren, 16.3 percent; Sanders, 14.8 percent; Harris, 14.3 percent; and Buttigieg, 6 percent.

Candidates had until the end of Monday to file their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.

Ryan, D-Howland, filed his report Friday. It’s believed by an FEC spokeswoman he was the first to file the report, his first since declaring on April 4.

“Tim Ryan for America’s disclosure shows that we have the resources needed to get our message out and compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. At this early stage in the campaign, that is the only thing that matters,” said Brad Bauman, senior adviser for communications for the Ryan campaign.

Some of the more notable contributors include Anthony Cafaro Jr., co-president of Niles-based property development company, the Cafaro Company, $2,800; Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Youngstown-based Phantom Fireworks, $2,700; John C. York II and Denise DeBartolo York with the DeBartolo Corp. in Boardman, $2,700 apiece; and wife and husband, Christine and Edward Muransky of the Muransky Companies, $2,800 each.

Two other members of the Cafaro family — former state Sen. Capri Cafaro and her sister, Renee — donated $2,800 each; David Betras, ex-chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, $2,800; and James Fogarty, owner of Warren-based media company 2 Ticks and The Dog, $2,800.

In addition, New Age health and spirituality advocate, Deepak Chopra, donated $1,000.

One of the most immediate challenges for candidates who have struggled to gain traction is notching enough donors to qualify for the next round of debates.

Ryan qualified for the first debate June 26-27 in Miami and is on the stage for the second July 30-31 in Detroit.

The Democratic National Committee has tightened its qualifications for the third and fourth debates.

To secure a spot on the stage, candidates have to reach 2 percent in a handful of polls while receiving contributions from at least 130,000 donors in at least 20 states.

That requires raising a significant amount online from low-dollar donors, a metric that is touted as a sign of a candidate’s support from the party’s grassroots.

Those who build a large network of small-dollar donors aren’t just capable of raising money — they are winning over the same party activists needed to turn out the vote, organize and proselytize, said Robert Zimmerman, a donor and Democratic National Committeeman from New York.

The requirements for debates one and two are at least 1 percent in qualifying polls and 65,000 donors in 20 states.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.