The former vice president’s campaign reported on Sunday that it and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) began September with $466 million in the bank – roughly $141 million more than the cash on hand for the president and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted on Friday that the president’s re-election team and the RNC had $325 million in their coffers at the beginning of the month.
The large financial advantage for Biden is a dramatic turnaround from the early spring when Trump enjoyed a massive lead over the former vice president when it came to cash on hand.
Biden, who declared his candidacy in April of last year, struggled to fundraise for much of his campaign. He raised just $8.9 million in January and $18 million in February. The president has been raising money for his reelection bid since entering the White House more than three and a half years ago. And the reelection effort’s hauled in an unprecedented $1.2 billion the past two years.
But Biden saw his fundraising spike starting in the late winter and early spring, as he became the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination and much of the party coalesced around his White House bid. Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in April as his last remaining primary rival – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – dropped out of the race and backed the former vice president.
Biden and the DNC outraised Trump and the RNC in May and June and spent money at a much slower rate than the president's team during the spring and early summer. In August, the Biden campaign and the DNC hauled in a record-shattering $364.5 million, far ahead of the $210 million brought in by the Trump campaign and the RNC. The infusion of cash allowed the Biden campaign to vastly outspend Trump’s team to run TV ads in August and September.
Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon earlier this month told reporters from numerous news organizations including Fox News that “we’re going to have the resources, not just to go wide on our map but also to go deep" in the key general election battleground states.
But Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien emphasized that money spent early in the cycle by the president is now paying dividends. “Our early investment in states is going to move the needle in a way that Joe Biden’s campaign just can’t do, even if they tried starting now,” Stepien told reporters earlier this month.
Campaign cash can be used by candidates to produce and run ads, build staff, boost grassroots outreach and get out the vote efforts. But while it’s a crucial element in campaign politics, the candidate that spends the most money doesn’t always win. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton dramatically outspent Trump in the 2016 election. Clinton ended up winning the national popular vote by 2 points, but Trump edged Clinton in a number of the key battleground states, giving him an Electoral College rout over Clinton to win the White House.
The Biden campaign’s cash on hand figures were first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by Fox News.
Sunday was also the deadline for the presidential campaigns to file their August reports. The Trump campaign announced that they spent $61 million last month