With the Democratic presidential field beginning to winnow down to the serious contenders, primary season is finally entering full swing. While it is still early, we can look at where the 2016 presidential primary stood at this stage in 2015 to identify some indicators of how the race is moving. One point immediately stands out: Spending is pacing ahead of where it was in the 2016 election and the geographic spread of spending is different. Compared to the first eight months of 2015, 2019 has seen more presidential money every month than the corresponding months in 2015. After a slow beginning, spending in both years increased rapidly over the summer. In 2019, spending has doubled each month since June. This led to the biggest monthly spending difference in August; August of 2019 saw $8 million more in spending than August of 2015. It is worth noting that a great deal of this difference is attributable to Tom Steyer, who has spent $19.3 million since he entered the race - almost half of all spending for the field.


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