Is a Key Biden Narrative About 2024 Going Down in Flames?

News & Politics

The Biden campaign may acknowledge that it’s behind in the polls right now, but Democrats think they have an ace up their sleeve: fundraising.

“Former President Donald Trump may enjoy a slight lead in early polling against President Biden, but the incumbent has a significant lead in another race, which is perhaps just as important this far out from November,” Democrat strategist Douglas Schoen said last month. “Indeed, Biden’s cash advantage over Trump — currently sitting at roughly $40 million — may prove decisive in a race largely hinging on turnout and whichever campaign can effectively reach and mobilize voters.”

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Of course, much of that fundraising has been a mirage. Joe Biden has been able to jointly fundraise with the Democratic National Committee, while up until recently, Donald Trump has not been able to do the same with the Republican National Committee. Trump is also way ahead in the grassroots donations race, getting 61% of his donations from small donors, compared to Biden who’s getting 38% of his donations from small donors. 

Grassroots donations are a key indicator of voter enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm for Biden is not there compared to Trump. But even if we take fundraising numbers at face value, the narrative about Biden’s fundraising advantage — no doubt buoyed by his recent New York City fundraiser with Hollywood celebrities and Barack Obama — may not last much longer. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that they raised over $65.6 million last month, and have $93.1 million cash on hand.

“President Donald J. Trump has again created a fundraising juggernaut among Republicans. While he has been the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party for less than a month, the RNC and Trump campaign are one unified operation and focused on victory,” RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement. “We’re raising funds and making strategic investments to get out the vote and protect the ballot. We are going to win BIG in just 31 weeks.”

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Related: Here’s What Biden Doesn’t Want You to Know About His Fundraising Numbers

“Our campaign, working together with the RNC, has been steadily ramping up our fundraising efforts, and our March numbers are a testament to the overwhelming support for President Trump by voters all across the spectrum,” added Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign Susie Wiles. “Republicans may not be beneficiaries of the self-interested largess from Hollywood and Silicon Valley elites, but President Trump is proud to be supported by donations from voters who are the backbone of this nation, which will fuel Republicans up and down the ballot.”

As of this writing, Biden’s fundraising hasn’t been released yet, and the campaign will no doubt benefit from the big influx of cash it received from the New York fundraiser that brought in a reported $26 million. But Trump is already in the process of closing the fundraising gap. On April 6, the Trump campaign and allied organizations are holding a fundraiser in Palm Beach, Fla., where they’re looking to raise $33 million.

As Trump looks to close the fundraising gap with Biden, one important thing to remember is that he’s shown in the past that he doesn’t need to out-fundraise his opponent. In 2016, Hillary Clinton raised $600 million — a significantly higher sum than Trump’s $340 million — and she still lost.

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