The latest round of Democratic primary fundraising totals are in, after a last-ditch push by many of the candidates to bring in as much money as possible before the end of the quarter. And the results for Joe Biden do not look great.
Biden is in fourth place, behind Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s grassroots small-donor campaigns, as well as Pete Buttigieg.
In the previous quarter, Biden raised $22 million, a pretty huge jump above the $15 million just reported. One reason for Biden’s flagging donations? His big donors are starting to tap out. Per the Wall Street Journal’s reporting (emphasis mine):
Mr. Biden held several big-ticket fundraisers in the days after entering the race in April and has continued to cross the country for donor events.
Federal Election Commission records show that 38% of the $22 million Mr. Biden raised by June 30 came from donors who gave the maximum amount possible to give in the primary—meaning he can’t go back to those roughly 2,800 individuals for more money in what will likely be a long and costly Democratic race.
Mr. Biden’s campaign, however, said that 56% of its donors during the most recent quarter were new to the campaign.
“The question any campaign faces at this point is whether or not you have the resources to compete in early states and sustain your efforts beyond. Our campaign unequivocally does and builds on our strength each week,” said Greg Schultz, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, in a statement.
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That in itself is a crazy figure: 38 percent of his money came from just 2,800 people last quarter! Sure, 56 percent new donors is fine, but clearly those new contributors spending power isn’t what the first crop was: it’s not “building on your strength” if the fundraising tallies drop by roughly $7 million. Bernie and Warren, meanwhile, are relying on signing up a huge amount of small-dollar donors who can give a moderate amount, and then give again when necessary. Seems to be working pretty well so far!