U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, right, a Colorado Democrat. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign says it raised $2.1 million in the third quarter of the year.

Bennet’s longshot campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination had $1.8 million cash on hand Wednesday. It has had enough funds to spend more than $1 million on ads in critical early voting Iowa.

Bennet is focusing his moderate message in Iowa and New Hampshire.

MORE: Michael Bennet has a warning for Democrats. But it’s not clear how many are listening.

Still, Bennet has not qualified for the upcoming presidential debate. His haul in the three months ending Monday is a small fraction of the money Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have reported.

The next Democratic presidential debate will be held on Oct. 15 at Otterbein University in Ohio. Candidates need at least 2% support in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee, as well as donations from at least 130,000 unique donors.

Bennet’s campaign has questioned the Democratic party’s debate requirements, but Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has defended them as reasonable.

“We’ve been very transparent in setting forth the requirement of participation,” Perez said at a recent Denver event. “We’ve been very inclusive, which is why the first debates had 20 people. … If you want to win the presidency in the year 2020, you’ve got to have the capacity to connect with the grassroots. If you don’t have the capacity to connect with the grassroots,  it’s going to be hard to win the presidency.”

Perez added: “In the last 40 years, nobody who has been under 2% in September in the fall before the primary has won even one primary or caucus.”

Sanders said Tuesday he raised $25.3 million to Buttigieg’s $19.1 million.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said he raised more than $6 million. And California Sen. Kamala Harris reported $11.6 million.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang raised $10 million for his campaign in the third quarter of the year, aides said Wednesday, putting the technology entrepreneur close to or above some of the senators in the 2020 race.

Yang’s total is more than triple the $2.8 million he took in from April through June and is evidence of the increased interest in his campaign, the centerpiece of which is a proposal for the government to pay all households $1,000 a month.

The Colorado Sun contributed to this report.

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