POLITICS

Biden Raised More Than $15 Million In Third Quarter, Campaign Says

The former VP's team said the numbers indicate Biden's staying power, but the Q3 figures fell short of Bernie Sanders' and Pete Buttigieg's totals.

Former Vice President Joe Biden raised $15.2 million over the last three months, his campaign announced on Thursday.

“Today’s fundraising totals put the campaign in a strong position as we enter the fall,” Greg Schultz, Biden’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “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.”

The campaign also noted that 56% of donors were new to the campaign, which it said indicates Biden’s staying power and popularity in the race to unseat President Donald Trump.

The total is notably less than that of at least two of his fellow candidates, although Biden is still the frontrunner in many polls. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has so far raised the most out of any 2020 Democrat, picking up $25.3 million in the third quarter. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised more than $19 million, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) garnered $11.6 million.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who rose dramatically in polls over the summer, has not yet released her third quarter fundraising numbers.

Biden has been at the center of the unfolding scandal over Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine earlier this year. During that conversation, Trump repeatedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Before the call, Trump ordered his administration to withhold military aid from the country.

Democrats have cast the conversation as an unprecedented move by a president to solicit political help from a foreign power as part of a quid pro quo, although Trump has rejected those claims.

It’s unclear if the drama will damage Biden’s chances in the presidential race. Neither Biden has been accused of wrongdoing in the matter, and House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry into the president’s behavior.

Biden has gone on the offensive in recent days, firing back at the White House for waging what he called a campaign of “lies, smears, distortions and name calling.”

During a speech to supporters on Thursday, Biden continued to lambaste Trump but said he remained optimistic about this chances in 2020.

“Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative,” Biden said, according to a pool report, before he went on to cite polls from Ohio and Michigan that put him above Trump. “I thought those polls are wrong until Trump decided to go after me ― so now I know they’re right.”

Trump, for his part, had a very good financial summer. His reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $125 million in the third quarter, a figure so large many Democratic leaders warned that the road ahead will not be easy. The two groups currently have more than $156 million cash on hand, double what former President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee had at this point before the 2012 election, Politico noted.

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