By Jason Lange
(Reuters) - U.S. presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren stepped up her fundraising between July and September in another sign her campaign to win the Democratic presidential nomination is gathering steam.
Warren said on Friday she raised $24.6 million during the third quarter, up from $19.1 million between April and June.
Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, has been rising recently in opinion polls and last week edged past former Vice President Joe Biden for the first time in a major national opinion poll.
"I'm grateful down to my toes for every grassroots supporter who chipped in," Warren said on Twitter.
Her take during the third quarter will probably be the second largest among the 19 Democrats seeking the party's nomination. Of the candidates who have reported fundraising during the quarter, only Bernie Sanders raised more, taking in $25.3 million. Biden raised $15.2 million.
Fundraising numbers are closely watched to assess whether campaigns are collecting the cash needed to be competitive. Campaigns must file detailed fundraising reports for the third quarter to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.
President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee as he seeks re-election, announced that he and the Republican National Committee (RNC) jointly raised $125 million in the third quarter.
Warren's announcement of a sizable haul means the top nine Democrats to report their totals for the quarter collectively raised more then $116 million. The RNC is allowed to accept donations of up to $35,000, while Democratic candidates are limited to donations of $2,800.
Earlier this year, Warren went a step farther than her rivals who have mostly refused to take money from corporate lobbyists, and swore off conducting high-dollar fundraisers.
Warren had held such fundraisers during previous campaigns for the U.S. Senate and jumpstarted her presidential bid with more than $10 million in leftover Senate race money. But since, she has relied almost entirely on online donations.
Warren's campaign manager, Roger Lau, said the money raised in the third quarter will help fund a digital and television advertising campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, states that hold the earliest nominating contests in February of 2020.
"We're also growing our team in states that will have primaries and caucuses in March," Lau said in an online post. Warren hired the largest staff out the gate, amassing a sizable payroll.
Warren's campaign reported she received more than 940,000 donations from over 500,000 different donors. Of those, 60% donated for the first time in the third quarter. The average donation was $26.
(Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry and Bill Berkrot)