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Biden and Democrats report raising $71 million-plus for his 2024 race from July through September

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Biden and Democrats report raising $71 million-plus for his 2024 race from July through September
AP
WILL WEISSERT
October 15, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $71 million for his reelection in the three months ending Sept. 30, a strong indication that party donors remain united behind him going into a 2024 race that may feature a rematch with Donald Trump.

Sunday's announcement comes after the Biden campaign and the party reported raising $72-plus million in the 10 weeks between his official campaign announcement on April 25 and the end of the second quarter on June 30.

Both totals include donations to Biden's campaign and to a network of joint fundraising arrangements with the national and state parties. The campaign said Democrats had $91 million in cash on hand through the end of last month, the highest-ever total by a Democrat at this point in an election cycle.

“This quarter’s fundraising haul and historic cash on hand speak to the very real enthusiasm and support,” Julie Chavez Rodriguez, manager of Biden's reelection campaign, said in a statement. “These numbers are a testament to one of our core objectives early in this campaign: raise the resources needed to run an aggressive campaign that will win in November 2024.”

Biden's total has not topped the tally of the last Democratic president, Barack Obama, who raised $85.6 million with affiliated Democratic entities during the April-to-June quarter in 2011 when he launched his campaign for a second term. Obama did announce his candidacy three weeks earlier that April than did Biden in 2023.

Obama, the party and related committees took in about $70 million in the third quarter of 2011, which nearly matches 2023 figures even without adjusting for inflation.

Trump’s 2024 campaign announced last week that it raised more than $45.5 million for the three months ending Sept, 30, without the benefit of the national GOP or party entities.

Trump has built a commanding early lead over his rivals in the 2024 Republican primary and has seen his fundraising remain strong despite four indictments that have left him facing 91 criminal charges that have strained his campaign finances.

During Trump's reelection campaign in 2019, his campaign and related affiliates, as well as the Republican National Committee, raised $125 million in that year's third quarter. But Biden's campaign noted that it was trying to avoid raising the maximum allowed from its most enthusiastic donors, as Trump did in 2020 when he faced fundraising shortfalls in the final months of the campaign.

Biden has held just one campaign rally, with some of the nation's largest unions at the Philadelphia convention center in June. In the meantime, his campaign has relied heavily on the DNC, having it cover many of the early costs of expanding a reelection effort while also bolstering state parties.

“We are building the infrastructure necessary to aggressively reach voters with our message,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement.

Biden's campaign's top priority until next year has been fundraising and keeping costs low. In September, however, it announced a 16-week, $25 million television and digital advertising blitz that focused on swing states and has promoted a variety of themes, including his administration's efforts to defend abortion rights and lower drug prescription costs.

One spot even directly criticized Trump as both he and Biden planned separate trips to Michigan early in the United Auto Workers' strike.

Sunday's totals were announced by the Biden campaign, but it doesn't expect to release details on how much it spent until later, in compliance with Federal Election Commission deadlines.

The campaign also said that its third-quarter totals included a large portion of the $25 million ad buy. The campaign expects donations to rise sharply beginning next summer as the election nears.

Biden has avoided serious Democratic primary challengers, especially with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently leaving the race and announcing that he'd instead run for president as an independent. But Biden continues to grapple with questions about voter enthusiasm, given his low approval ratings and questions — even from many Democrats — about his age, given that he'd be 86 by the end of a second term, should he win one.

The Biden campaign said it doubled its individual contributions since launching to a total of more than 1.4 million, Also, 112,000 people have now committed to be sustaining donors, meaning they have promised to continue to contribute every month, the campaign said.

In all, more than 493,000 donors made 843,000 donations across all Biden and Democratic entities over the quarter, with 97% of donations coming in under $200. Donors also hailed from all 50 states, the campaign said.

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