POLITICS

Joe Biden Raises $21.5 Million During First Months Of 2020 Presidential Campaign

The Democratic front-runner held numerous fundraisers with wealthy donors after joining the 2020 presidential race in late April.

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden raised $21.5 million during the second quarter of the Democratic primary campaign, his campaign announced in an email to supporters on Wednesday.

The Biden campaign received 436,000 donations from 256,000 individuals, who donated an average of $49, the email said. The campaign said 97% of donations were under $200.

The haul falls just short of the $24 million raised by Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who quickly proved to be a talented fundraiser in the early months of the Democratic primary.

But the former vice president entered the race in late April, a few weeks after the start of the quarter, meaning he had fewer days to raise money than candidates like Buttigieg and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Sanders, who was Biden’s closest competitor in national polls last quarter, raised $18 million. But he received 1 million donations ― more than double Biden’s total ― with an average donation of $18.

Sanders emphasized in a statement this week that he held “zero big dollar fundraisers and rejected money from Wall Street executives and the fossil fuel industry.”

The Biden campaign also did not take money from fossil fuel executives, fossil fuel PACs, corporate PACs or federal lobbyists, according to the campaign.

But Sanders’ comment was nevertheless a clear shot at candidates like Biden, who has aggressively leaned on fundraising with wealthy donors early on. Unlike other candidates, Biden has allowed at least some media into every one of his fundraisers. It was at a New York fundraiser in June that Biden caused national controversy when he celebrated his past relationships with two well-known segregationists, James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge.

Biden continues to hold a signifiant lead in the national polls, though it has dropped steadily since mid-May. One campaign fundraiser, San Francisco-based lawyer Tom McInerney, told the campaign on June 20 he would no longer financially support Biden. 

“I would imagine I’m not alone,” McInerney told CNBC. 

The fallout from his comments about the segregationists continued through the first Democratic debates in Miami, where Harris confronted Biden about them.

Early polls indicate Biden’s performance at the debates may have hurt his candidacy.

Harris and Warren, the two other Democratic front-runners, have yet to release their financial numbers from the second quarter.

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