Joe Biden reportedly raised more than $300 million in August fundraising—beating the previous record by over $100 million

September 1, 2020, 8:53 PM UTC

Joe Biden may already lead Donald Trump in the national polls, but he appears on the verge of surpassing the President in another, arguably more important metric: fundraising.

According to the New York Times, the Democratic presidential nominee raised more than $300 million in fundraising in the month of August—a figure that would shatter the previous monthly fundraising record for a presidential campaign (believed to be $193 million by the Obama campaign in September 2008, the Times reports).

By contrast, the previous Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, only raised $143 million four years ago in August 2016, while then-candidate Trump’s campaign managed to raise only $90 million.

Biden’s August haul would likely see his warchest surpass that of the President’s, as the two campaigns entered the month of August virtually neck-and-neck in terms of fundraising (with Biden’s $294 million fundraising total trailing the President’s $300 million-plus, according to the Times).

And unless the Trump campaign is able to reveal similarly impressive fundraising figures of its own for August, it will likely represent a reversal of the presidential race’s recent fundraising dynamics, which have seen Trump regularly outraise Biden. In July, the President’s campaign managed to bring in $165 million in donations—$25 million more than the $140 million raised by the Biden camp.

Biden’s robust August fundraising figures were aided in part by his selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee; in the 48 hours after announcing Harris as Biden’s running mate, the campaign raised $48 million in donations, it said. Coupled with the $70 million raised over the four-day Democratic National Convention two weeks ago, Biden and the Democrats were able to raise nearly $120 million over a six-day span last month, the Times notes. (The Trump campaign, for its part, said it raised $76 million over the Republican National Convention last week.)

While sources told the Times that most of Biden’s August fundraising came from small, grassroots donors online, the campaign has also received plenty of enthusiasm from large donors—including Silicon Valley interests who view Harris as an ally amid heightened regulatory and antitrust scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Biden has also drawn millions from Wall Street donors, as well. 

As far as how the Biden camp is allocating its war chest, television advertising is by far the most significant expenditure—as evidenced by its decision to buy two minutes of national airtime on the final night of the Republican National Convention last week. Early last month, the Biden campaign revealed that it would spend $280 million on advertising this fall in a push that would target 15 key states, with television ads comprising the overwhelming bulk ($220 million) of that spending. The remaining $60 million is dedicated to digital advertising, which has grown considerably more influential in recent years after playing a major role in the Trump campaign’s 2016 success.

Meanwhile, Biden’s fundraising efforts have been aided by some high-profile supporters. A virtual fundraising event hosted by Cher on Monday night, which focused on LGBTQ issues issues, raised $2 million for the Democratic nominee, while Dr. Jill Biden teamed with the cast of the popular Netflix series “Queer Eye” for another virtual fundraiser on Tuesday.

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