WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $72 million for his reelection in the 10 weeks since he announced his 2024 candidacy, his campaign announced Friday, in a strong but not record performance by an incumbent.
That is all the money raised between April 25, when Biden made his announcement, and the end of June, and includes donations to his campaign and to a network of joint fundraising arrangements with the national and state parties. By comparison, President Barack Obama raised $85.6 million during the April-to-June quarter in 2011 when he launched his campaign for a second term, though he announced his candidacy three weeks earlier that April than did Biden.
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $105 million in the second quarter — about $80,000 per day more than Biden took in this year, when Biden was benefiting from higher campaign finance donation limits due to inflation. Biden's campaign still celebrated the haul, noting they were looking to avoid maxing out their most enthusiastic donors, as Trump did in 2020 when he faced fundraising shortfalls in the final months of the campaign.
The campaign said Democrats have $77 million on hand — the highest total ever by a Democrat at this point in an election cycle.
Biden, who has cleared the field of any serious rivals for for the Democratic nomination, has nevertheless been confronting persistent concerns from within the party about voter enthusiasm for an 80-year-old candidate. The fundraising number is likely to quiet but not eliminate some concerns about whether Biden can assemble the support necessary for a successful campaign. His 2020 effort topped $1 billion in donations.
Surveys show Democrats would prefer another candidate to run, but there is no consensus within the party about an alternative.
“This is fantastic,” said Democratic donor Robert Wolf. “The calls I was getting before they announced were: ‘Is he going to beat Trump? Is he going to beat (Florida Gov. Ron) DeSantis?’ And he blew them out of the water.”
Biden's sum is more than double Donald Trump's during those three months for his 2024 effort, though the former president and other Republicans in the race are not jointly raising money with the GOP and therefore face lower federal contribution limits for top donors.
Biden's campaign did not detail the total raised directly by his campaign, which would allow a more direct comparison with the Republican candidates, or how much it spent in the opening months, though the campaign staff remains relatively small. Those figures are set to be reported Saturday to the Federal Election Commission.
"While Republicans are burning through resources in a divisive primary focused on who can take the most extreme MAGA positions, we are significantly outraising every single one of them -– because our team’s strength is our grassroots supporters,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez in a statement.
Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, all stepped up their fundraising in the closing weeks of the quarter as the reelection campaign looked to put up a strong showing, holding 38 fundraisers since the campaign launch — with the pace expected to increase as the campaign grows.
“There’s going to be a lot more early electricity for those in the primary season than the incumbent, so the idea that he did this with very few fundraisers and still kind of a skeleton crew is just great,” said Wolf, the former chairman and CEO of UBS Americas. He predicted that fundraising would escalate dramatically once Biden has a GOP rival. “A lot of people will get more engaged as soon as they know who they’re against."
The campaign said the total came from nearly 400,000 donors, and that 97% of donations were under $200 and more than 30% of donors had not given to Biden in 2020. It added that the campaign email list now reaches nearly 25 million subscribers.
The campaign said a grassroots fundraising pitch offering the chance at meeting the president raised nearly $2 million from small donors, and that merchandise featuring “Dark Brandon” — a meme featuring Biden with lasers for eyes — has driven half of its online store revenue.