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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Trump Catches Up in Campaign Finance

Elena Schneider and Lauren Egan at Politico:
Joe Biden’s campaign planned to bury Donald Trump in an avalanche of cash.

Instead, his allies are bracing for a slugfest without the benefit of a fatter wallet, as financial reports showed Trump outraising Biden in back-to-back months, hauling in huge sums after his 34 felony convictions and erasing Biden’s longstanding financial edge.

Democrats in recent days largely downplayed Trump’s new financial lead in the same way Trump’s allies had when Biden was running ahead in the money race — saying the president would have enough money to compete.

But privately, several Democratic strategists and donors were reeling.

“There was the strategy of raising all this money on the front end so we could have this huge edge,” said one Biden bundler, granted anonymity to speak candidly. “The whole point of it was to come out with a sizable cash advantage and, you know, we’re now even and it’s June. … I have no other word for it other than ‘depression’ among Biden supporters.”

Another major Biden bundler, also granted anonymity, called the development “disappointing, but not surprising.”

In the 2024 money race, not only was Trump out-raising Biden, but he also had more cash on hand. And Republican megadonors, too, rolled out enormous checks for Trump in recent days, including $50 million from longtime GOP donor Timothy Mellon to a pro-Trump super PAC.

Several Biden donors insisted that they expected — and planned — for Trump to close the gap after he clinched the Republican nomination, comparing it to when Mitt Romney caught up to then-President Barack Obama in fundraising over the summer of 2012. Part of the disparity between the campaigns was that Biden was spending more heavily, building “out an unbelievable campaign structure in battleground states,” while “Trump has done nothing,” said Chip Forrester, co-chair of the Biden-Harris Southern finance committee.