Biden raises $85 million but falls short of Trump's may haul

Bill Allison and Akayla Gardner, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

President Joe Biden’s campaign raised $85 million in May, falling short of the total raised by Republican rival Donald Trump for a second straight month, a troubling development for the incumbent before their November rematch.

While the president’s May total tops the $51 million that he and the Democratic Party raised in April, Trump, in the past two months, has likely cut deeply into Biden’s once sizable fundraising advantage, with the president and his party having roughly $100 million more cash on hand than his rival at the end of March.

Trump raised $76 million in April to top Biden in monthly contributions for the first time and the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign saw a surge of $141 million in May — a fundraising boom that came amid his historic conviction on charges of falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments to an adult film star.

The Biden campaign sought to highlight his cash on hand, pointing out that even after launching a $50 million ad buy targeting swing-state voters and opening more than 200 offices with more than 1,000 staffers, the campaign still had $212 million in the bank — a record for a Democratic candidate at this point in the election cycle.

Trump didn’t say how much he had in the bank, but his campaign and the RNC reported having $171 million cash on hand. That total doesn’t include all committees supporting him. That drops the Biden campaign’s financial edge to $41 million at the end of May from $100 million at the end of the first quarter.

Biden’s operation had its second strongest month for grassroots fundraising, the campaign said in a statement on Thursday night. It grew its active email lists, used in part to solicit donations from small-dollar donors, by 3 million more subscribers in May. Since launching, the campaign has 2 million donors who’ve collectively given nearly 5.6 million contributions.

The jury verdict in Manhattan, which made Trump the first former American president to be found guilty of a felony, saw Republicans rally behind their standard-bearer. He raised $52.8 million alone in the 24 hours after the jury’s decision. Trump has also been ramping up his appeal to big-dollar GOP donors and business leaders, holding big-ticket fundraisers throughout May.


The president has previously mocked Trump as “broke Don” and repeatedly joked about his predecessor’s campaign being “crushed by debt” as the presumptive Republican nominee dealt with mounting legal fees that drained his coffers.

But the Biden campaign is now seizing on Trump’s fundraising gains, sending emails and text messages to highlight his post-conviction cash infusion. Biden has escalated his fundraising, including with events in Los Angeles and just outside Washington that saw him enlist the aid of former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Last Saturday night, Biden took part in a high-powered Hollywood fundraiser with Obama and celebrities including George Clooney, Julia Roberts and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel that the campaign said brought in more than $30 million. On Tuesday, Biden was joined at a Virginia fundraiser by Clinton and his wife, former secretary of State and onetime Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, for an event that raised $8 million.

Campaigns and party committees faced a Thursday deadline to file reports on their May fundraising and spending with the Federal Election Commission. Trump voluntarily released his numbers earlier this month. But the self-reported totals don’t paint a full picture of the money race. The amounts do not include donations to joint fundraising committees which have a separate deadline, July 15, to file their disclosures to the FEC.

Biden, who did not face a serious primary threat, was able to stockpile cash earlier in the race, unlike Trump who was forced to contest an expensive primary campaign. The president’s team has hired staff across seven states seen as likely to determine the outcome of November’s presidential election, as well as other states such as Virgina and Florida.

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