- September 3, 2020
- Posted by: LSN Partners
- Category: Government Affairs
Haul includes more than $205 million from online, small-dollar donations, campaign says
Joe Biden said in a statement that the fundraising figure ‘blows me away.’
PHOTO: ALAN FREED/REUTERS
By Ken Thomas
Updated Sept. 2, 2020 4:30 pm ET
WASHINGTON—Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden raised $364.5 million in August, shattering previous records for a Democratic campaign as donors rallied behind his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate and an unprecedented virtual convention.
The total, which includes money raised jointly with the Democratic National Committee and affiliated committees, included more than $205 million from online, small-dollar donations and was more than double what Mr. Biden collected in July. For a former vice president who has struggled to raise money at times, the August surge in donations could allow him to match President Trump in spending during the final stretch of the campaign.
Mr. Biden said in a statement that the fundraising figure “blows me away.”
“And we raised it the right way, from people across the country stepping up to own a piece of this campaign, investing in the future we want to see for our kids and grandkids,” he said.
The campaign said 1.5 million people made their first donation in August and that it had surpassed more than 4 million donors in total.
The fundraising total is the most by a Democrat since Barack Obama raised more than $190 million in September 2008, when he sought the presidency with Mr. Biden as his running mate.
Mr. Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately release its fundraising totals for August. Mr. Trump’s campaign raised more than $165 million in July in combined fundraising with the Republican National Committee and affiliated committees. It said at the time that it had raised $1.1 billion since January 2019.
In a fundraising email to supporters with the subject line “$350 MILLION,” Mr. Trump wrote that he couldn’t “ignore that $350,000,000 in ONE MONTH is a massive amount of cash.”
“The Liberals are funneling money to their candidates at an alarming rate to try and take us down,” he wrote.
Mr. Trump has held a significant cash advantage during much of the campaign, but Mr. Biden’s fundraising onslaught has eroded that advantage. Mr. Trump’s team ended July with more than $300 million in the bank, while Mr. Biden’s campaign said it had $294 million at the end of that month.
Mr. Biden’s campaign didn’t release cash-on-hand totals, which will be included in fundraising reports filed Sept. 20.
For Mr. Biden, the haul represents a continuing sea change in his fundraising fortunes. As the Democratic primaries began in January, his campaign raised less than $9 million for the month. During August, his campaign averaged about $11.7 million daily.
“This is a monumental figure that shows the growing and passionate support for the Biden-Harris ticket,” said Alex Heckler, a Miami Beach, Fla., attorney who serves on Mr. Biden’s national finance committee.
Mr. Biden’s ability to raise money amped up in March as he locked up the primary nomination, and has increased during the summer. The campaign posted $140 million in joint fundraising in July, about $25 million less than Mr. Trump.
But the campaign generated momentum with Mr. Biden’s decision to make Ms. Harris the nation’s first woman of color to join a major party’s presidential ticket.
The campaign said previously that it raised, along with its affiliated committees, $48 million in the 48 hours after he announced Ms. Harris as his running mate. The campaign also collected $70 million during the four days of the virtual Democratic National Convention.
Historically, August is one of the tougher fundraising months for presidential candidates: Large donors are on vacation, small donors aren’t paying attention, and the political conventions have come and gone a month earlier. In August 2016, the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and her Democratic National Committee partners raised $143 million, while Mr. Trump and his Republican team raised about $90 million.
But this year’s calendar looks different, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions on travel mean fewer people are vacationing. Public opinion surveys show voters are engaged in the race earlier than in previous cycles. And both political parties held their nominating conventions in August rather than in July.
—Julie Bykowicz and Michael C. Bender contributed to this article.
Write to Ken Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeared in the September 3, 2020, print edition as ‘Biden’s August Fundraising Is Record.’