Biden raises a record-shattering $364 million in August

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden discusses his plan to safely reopen schools amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, September 2, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden raised $364.5 million in August for his campaign and his joint committees with the Democratic Party, a staggering amount that exceeds any single month fundraising in previous presidential general elections.

The huge figure reflects both excitement with Biden’s choice of Sen. Kamala Harris of California to be his running mate and the fundraising boost traditionally provided by party nominating conventions, which both Democrats and Republicans held virtually in August. 

To put the number in perspective, in August of 2016 then-nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raised a combined total of $233 million, $90 million for Trump and the GOP, and $143 million for Clinton and the DNC. In 2008, Republican nominee John McCain raised just $383 million over the course of his entire campaign. 

Direct comparisons are complicated, however, by the fact that campaign finance rules have shifted over the past 15 years to allow candidates and committees to raise much more money from donors than they ever could before.

According to the Biden campaign, 95% of all donations were from grassroots supporters and more than 1.5 million people made their first donation in August. Approximately $205 million, or 57% of the total, came from online donations, the Biden campaign said.

Biden announced the figure in a tweet Wednesday.

The Biden campaign did not announce how much it had spent in August, however, leaving it unclear how much money the campaign has left in cash on hand going into the final two months of the race. 

As of Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s campaign had not yet announced its August fundraising numbers.

But Trump and his joint committees with the Republican Party have outraised Biden in every month but one since Biden became the de facto nominee in early April.

Polls show that Biden has consistently led Trump throughout the general election, although some polls have showed the race tightening in the past week.

As president, Trump enjoys an unrivaled platform through which to reach voters over the airwaves. Yet the Biden campaign has consistently spent more than the Trump campaign on digital and TV advertising this summer. In August, Biden outspent Trump by 2-to-1, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

Going into the final 60 days of the presidential race, the Biden campaign has reserved more than $280 million worth of TV and digital ads. A Trump campaign spokesman told the AP that it plans to spend $200 million this fall across a wide variety of states, including several that Trump won handily in 2016, such as Montana and Iowa. Both of those states have high-stakes Senate races this year. 

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