Biden’s campaign war chest exceeds Trump’s before major fundraising event

By Thomson Reuters Mar 28, 2024 | 5:02 AM

By Stephanie Kelly and Moira Warburton

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s campaign has pulled in more money ahead of November’s election than that of his Republican rival Donald Trump, which analysts attribute to Biden’s incumbent status and support from Democratic predecessors.

That support will be on full display Thursday at a fundraising event for Biden in New York City, where former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, both prominent Democrats, will be in attendance.

Biden’s campaign committee is outraising Trump in both money raised from large contributions and small individual donations under $200, according to OpenSecrets, a research group that tracks money and influence in U.S. politics.

Large contributions make up about 55% of the $128.7 million Biden’s campaign committee has raised so far in the election cycle, OpenSecrets data showed, compared with 45% from small contributions.

For Trump, large contributions comprise 64% of the $96.1 million his campaign committee has raised, versus 36% from small contributions.

However, Trump has done better in raising money from outside groups like super PACs, which can receive donations of unlimited size but cannot coordinate with campaigns directly.

Outside groups that support Trump have raised $83.1 million, versus the $60.1 million from groups that support Biden.

In total, Biden’s candidacy has raised $188.8 million from his campaign committee and outside groups, versus Trump’s $179.2 million.

Democratic candidates have raised more moneyin support of their White House bids than their Republican counterparts in all election cycles after 2004, when Bush raked in more money than his Democratic opponent John Kerry, OpenSecrets data showed.

In the 2020 match-up between Biden and Trump, the Democrat raised over $1.6 billion from his campaign committee and outside groups, the most any candidate has raised in a presidential race. Trump, in comparison, raised $1.1 billion.

More money is not always an indication of success, however. Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 after she raised $769.9 million, well over the $433.4 million he raised.


Small-dollar donors are important for signaling grassroots support, analysts said.

“If you get somebody to give you five bucks, they’re giving $5 as a gesture of saying, ‘I believe in you,'” said David Primo, a professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester.

Fundraisers like Biden’s event on Thursday are also important – helping a candidate build a campaign war chest, which funds advertisement campaigns and phone outreach.

While Biden has previous presidents like Obama and Clinton to lean on, Trump does not have the support of former President George W. Bush, his Republican predecessor, and failed to gain an endorsement from Mike Pence, who served as Trump’s vice president.

Still, Trump also has major fundraisers coming up. In early April, hedge fund billionaire John Paulson will host a fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida, with big names including hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis listed as co-chairs. Donations can range from $250,000 to $814,600 per person, according to an invitation to the event.

“If you can raise early money in a competitive election and have it spent intelligently you can move some real votes with it,” said Dmitri Mehlhorn, an adviser to Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and a major donor to mostly Democratic candidates.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly and Moira Warburton, additional reporting by Alexandra Ulmer, editing by Deepa Babington)