Report indicates growing concerns among Democrats over Biden campaign fundraising

July 8, 2023
Ben Marquis

Many Americans, including many Democrats, have a number of valid concerns about President Joe Biden's bid for re-election in 2024, including whether he and his team are capable of raising sufficient funds to finance that campaign to remain in the White House for a second term.

That is starting to become a substantial issue for some Democrats and donors who are increasingly worried that Biden is falling short on the fundraising front thus far, according to the Daily Caller.

Those worries are only bolstered by the fact that Biden's team has been tightlipped about how much money has been raised in the second quarter while the president's two most likely Republican opponents, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, recently revealed impressive hauls during that same period of time.

"Anxiety" over Biden fundraising

Politico reported Friday that President Biden is "running his re-election bid on the cheap" and employing a "bargain-basement campaign strategy" that includes having not yet established a national campaign headquarters, hiring fewer than 20 campaign staffers, and having outside organizations -- and U.S. taxpayers -- pick up the tab for campaign appearances.

To be sure, the Biden campaign says that this is by design, as campaign co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg told the outlet, "Right now, we have a fine-tuned race car here. At some point, we will build out a big, substantial, competitive organization and enterprise. We don’t need to do that today. It literally would be a waste of money."

That said, while there are some benefits to that strategy, there are also quite a few risks, according to Politico, and "lurking behind the Biden team’s cost-cutting efforts, there is a low-grade anxiety among Democrats about the president’s fundraising abilities."

A high bar to clear

It is thought by some that Biden will need to spend upwards of $2 billion in the 2024 cycle, but with regard to how much of that estimated total has been raised to this point, the Biden campaign isn't saying, and they have yet to announce how much the campaign raised in its first 24 hours nor how much it brought in during the second quarter -- at least not until the July 15 deadline for disclosure set by the Federal Election Commission.

"No matter what the White House wants to say, you take a survey and a huge plurality of Democratic voters don’t even want him to run again," and unnamed national Democratic strategist told the outlet. "There’s really an enthusiasm gap that I think is their central challenge."

President Biden's fundraising numbers will eventually have to be publicly disclosed, and when that occurs they will undoubtedly be compared with those of his predecessor at the same point -- former President Trump raised approximately $105 million in the second quarter of 2019 -- as well as how they stack up against his two most likely GOP opponents in the current cycle.

Trump and DeSantis post impressive second quarter hauls

According to ABC News, Trump's joint fundraising committee -- his 2024 campaign and the affiliated Save America PAC -- reportedly raised a combined $35 million during the second quarter, almost twice as much as the $18.8 million raised in the first quarter.

Ironically enough, nearly half of that total came in direct response to the criminal indictments issued by partisan prosecutors, which the Trump team has deftly exploited as a fundraising tool, and a portion of those funds will be going toward his mounting legal costs rather than his presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported that Gov. DeSantis' campaign raised around $20 million in about six weeks since launching in late May, while his affiliated Never Back Down PAC has brought in upwards of $130 million since it first began operations in early March, for a combined total of approximately $150 million.

Granted, roughly $82 million of the PAC's haul came from the rollover of leftover funds from an affiliated PAC that supported the governor's successful 2022 re-election campaign, but it was also noted that approximately $8.2 million of the campaign's $20 million total came in the first 24 hours after the campaign launched.

How President Biden's fundraising figures will match up against those of Trump and DeSantis remains unknown, but it will be key in either assuaging the concerns of Democratic donors and strategists or convincing them to raise the alarm and belatedly kick the Biden campaign into high gear.

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