Biden beats Trump in June’s battle of the fundraisers

Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised a record $141m in June, $10m more than Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, in a sign of how both campaigns capitalised on the month’s tumult to fill their coffers.

The Biden campaign said it and the DNC had raised $282.1m in the second quarter. Mr Trump’s campaign and the RNC raised $266m in the same period, a sum the Trump campaign said was a record for them and a 71 per cent increase over what it had raised in the first quarter of 2020.

The duelling record hauls from the campaigns point to increasing enthusiasm ahead of the election among two groups: those who want to hand Mr Trump a second term, and those who want to see Mr Trump defeated.

Over the past two months, the Biden campaign said it had continued to expand its base of support and donors. In June, 68 per cent of the people who gave money to the campaign were first-time Biden donors. An additional 2.6m people signed up to the campaign’s email list.

Jen O’Malley Dillon, campaign manager for Mr Biden, called the figure “a jaw-dropping sum of money” and “a true testament that the people are standing behind Joe Biden”, noting the campaign’s growing enthusiasm among small grassroots donors.

The Biden campaign raised $11m at a “virtual fundraiser” with Mr Biden and former president Barack Obama via Zoom, while other Zoom fundraisers with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, both former presidential candidates, each brought in multimillion-dollar sums.

Mr Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, noted that the $131m it had in June “eclipses the total raised in any single month in 2020”. The campaign and RNC and their joint committees had taken in an average $4.3m per day, and posted a new daily record for online fundraising on Mr Trump’s birthday, raising $14m online in 24 hours.

“The Trump campaign’s monumental June fundraising haul proves that people are voting with their wallets and that enthusiasm behind President Trump’s re-election is only growing,” Mr Trump’s campaign manger, Brad Parscale, said.

Democratic and Republican fundraisers have repeatedly stressed that they do not believe the 2020 election would be won on fundraising alone. Hillary Clinton raised $1.2bn in 2016 — more than four times the amount raised by Mr Trump’s campaign.

While Mr Trump helped finance his 2016 campaign with $66m of his own money, that amount is a fraction of the more than $1bn Michael Bloomberg spent in four months on his own shortlived bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

The campaigns and major party fundraisers noted that the fundraising figures serve as a strong barometer for campaign enthusiasm, particularly in the middle of the pandemic and economic downturn, when many small-dollar donors are facing their own financial struggles.

The June totals represent a significant jump from May when the Biden and Trump campaigns raised $80.8m and $74m, respectively. It also coincided with a period of mass US protests over the death of George Floyd, as well as the president’s return to the campaign trail with a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally that attracted fewer attendees than expected.

Despite Mr Biden’s record-breaking haul, Mr Trump’s campaign has continued to stress that it still has a cash advantage to Mr Biden. The Trump campaign and RNC ended June with $295m in cash on hand — thanks to a nearly four-year fundraising effort for Mr Trump’s re-election throughout his first term.

Mr Biden’s campaign has not yet released its cash-on-hand figures for the end of the second quarter. At the end of May, the former vice-president’s campaign and Democratic National Committee had $82.4m in cash on hand.

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