The Biden campaign has not only overcome the dire cash disadvantage it faced coming into the general election in April, but transformed it into a $141 million advantage at the beginning of September thanks to a combination of record-breaking fundraising, careful spending practices on their part, and lavish spending by the Trump campaign.
Biden campaign digital director Rob Flaherty confirmed Sunday that they, along with the Democratic National Committee – entered September with $466 million cash-on-hand after raising a record-shattering $364.5 million in August thanks to enormous sums raised during the Democratic Convention and after the announcement of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as Biden’s running mate.
That’s up from $294 million in cash for the Biden campaign entering August and just $57.2 million coming into April, just as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was winding down his primary bid and Biden was gearing up for the general election.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $210 million in August and entered September with $325 million, according to Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, going from a $187 million cash advantage over the Biden team to being $141 million behind in just four months.
A major reason for the Trump campaign’s disintegrated cash advantage is lavish spending under former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who spent $800 billion of the $1.1 billion the campaign raised between the beginning of 2019 and July, including $350 million aimed at boosting fundraising and $58.4 million in legal fees.
As a result of their sudden cash concerns in August, the Trump campaign pulled back its ad spending, allowing Biden to dominate that month in ad spending with $65.5 million to Trump’s $18.7 million.
But the Trump campaign maintains that its investments in ground-game will pay off, with current campaign manager Bill Stepien writing in a statement earlier this month that the campaign has a “muscular field operation and ground game that will turn out our voters.”
“We’re going to have the resources, not just to go wide on our map but also to go deep within those states,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters last month.
$3.7 billion. That’s the price tag of the 2020 election so far, according to FEC data compiled by Forbes. Much of the figure comes from a collective $1.4 billion spent by billionaires Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg in their unsuccessful primary campaigns. It’s already far greater than the $2.21 billion price tag of the entire 2016 presidential election, with two months still to go before November.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Biden’s cash advantage will be further bolstered by a $100 million investment in Florida by billionaire Mike Bloomberg. Another potential boost to Biden is the sudden burst of Democratic fundraising in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, with $100 million donated to Democratic candidates through ActBlue in less than two days after her death. Trump has also mused about self-funding again as he did in 2016, with Bloomberg reporting he may spend up to $100 million.