The latest figures reveal the scale of the money imbalance in the final month of the campaign and the extent of the Trump campaign’s financial woes, which have coincided with his drop in the polls over his handling of the coronavirus. An increasing number of donors have met the maximum amount they can contribute to the Trump campaign, and the campaign in recent months has maintained a virtual fundraising schedule that has been less aggressive than Biden’s.
This cash on hand is crucial as both candidates look to blanket the airwaves, social media and Internet search engines with ads to sway undecided voters at the last minute and make sure their supporters cast their ballots.
While the national party committees and joint fundraising committees have millions of dollars in their accounts, they must share that money with the national and state parties in addition to the presidential candidates, and the ads they purchase come at a higher rate than for the campaign committees.
Meanwhile, voting in the general election is already well underway. At least 35.9 million people nationwide have already voted in the general election, with at least 17.6 million of those in battleground states, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Since August, Biden has gained a remarkable lead over Trump’s historically prolific fundraising machine. Trump raised and spent money toward his reelection since he was elected president, starting the process earlier than previous presidents.
On the other hand, Democratic campaign cash flooded in this summer, the totals buoyed by the Democratic National Convention, the announcement of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) as the vice-presidential nominee, the Biden campaign’s aggressive virtual fundraising schedule and the pro-Democratic donations that flowed in after the death in September of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In a statement Tuesday, the Trump campaign said it has the resources it needs for the remainder of the campaign.
“As Hillary Clinton proved when she outspent us 2-to-1 in 2016, no amount of money can buy the presidency — voters have to be enthusiastic about casting their ballot for a candidate, and that’s only happening for President Trump,” the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary, Samantha Zager, said in a statement.
The Biden campaign recently told its donors that it is projecting to raise $234 million more before Election Day, but it urged supporters not to take the fundraising for granted.
“That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but when you’re competing across 17 states like we are, every single dollar counts,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a Saturday memo to supporters. “And every dollar we fall short of those goals is a missed opportunity to turn out supporters or communicate our closing message in a race that could come down to a handful of votes.”
In September, the main pro-Trump super PAC America First Action brought in $43 million, with $15 million coming from Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac Perlmutter and his wife, Laura. Another $10 million came from Timothy Mellon, founder of a rail and freight company and heir to the Mellon family fortune. The super PAC also gets money from its nonprofit arm, which does not disclose donor information.
The main pro-Biden super PAC, Priorities USA Action, raised $47 million, helped by former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who gave $18.7 million. The Democratic nonprofit Sixteen Thirty Fund, which does not disclose its donors, gave another $1 million to the group, and $10.5 million was transferred from Priorities USA’s nonprofit arm.
Unite the Country, another key super PAC supporting Biden, brought in $4.7 million in September, boosted by a $1 million donation from Bloomberg and $1 million from Thomas Secunda, a co-founder of Bloomberg LP.
The Trump campaign announced that the Republican National Committee and two fundraising committees, which raise money for the party as well as for the Trump campaign, held a combined $251 million as of the start of October. Filings show the two committees held $110.4 million of that amount and the RNC $78 million, leaving about $63 million in Trump’s campaign coffers.
The Biden campaign reported a cash haul of $432 million as of the start of October among all of the committees. Two joint fundraising committees held $153.3 million of that amount, and the Democratic National Committee held $98.2 million, and the Biden campaign held $177 million, according to Tuesday night’s filings.
Though Tuesday’s filings may not account for some money that may have been transferred from the joint fundraising committees into the campaign accounts, Biden nonetheless maintained a major financial advantage as of the start of October.