The latest figures released Tuesday reveal the breadth of the lopsided war chest heading into the final month of the campaign and the extent of the Trump campaign’s financial woes, which coincided with his drop in the polls over his handling of the coronavirus. An increasing number of donors have met the maximum amount they could contribute to the Trump campaign, while the campaign has held a less aggressive virtual fundraising schedule than Biden in recent months.
This cash on hand is crucial as both candidates look to blanket the airwaves, social media and search engines with ads to sway undecided voters at the last minute and make sure their supporters cast their ballots.
While the national party committees and joint fundraising committees have millions of dollars in their accounts, they must share that money with the national and state parties in addition to the presidential candidates, and the ads they purchase come at a higher rate than for the campaign committees.
Since August, Biden gained a remarkable lead over Trump’s historically large fundraising machine. Trump raised and spent money toward his reelection since he was elected president, starting the process earlier than previous presidents.
On the other hand, Democratic campaign cash flooded in this summer, buoyed by the Democratic National Convention, the announcement of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) as the vice-presidential nominee, the Biden campaign’s aggressive virtual fundraising schedule and the pro-Democratic donations that flowed after the death in September of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In a statement Tuesday, the Trump campaign said it has all of the resources it needs for the remainder of the election.
“As Hillary Clinton proved when she outspent us 2-to-1 in 2016, no amount of money can buy the presidency — voters have to be enthusiastic about casting their ballot for a candidate, and that’s only happening for President Trump,” the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary Samantha Zager said in a statement.
The Biden campaign recently told its donors that it is projecting to raise another $234 million before Election Day, but it urged supporters not to take the fundraising for granted.
“That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but when you’re competing across 17 states like we are, every single dollar counts,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in an Oct. 17 memo to supporters. “And every dollar we fall short of those goals is a missed opportunity to turn out supporters or communicate our closing message in a race that could come down to a handful of votes.”
The Trump campaign announced that along with the Republican National Committee and two fundraising committees, which raise money for both the party and the Trump campaign, held a combined $251 million as of October. Filings show the two committees held $110.4 million of that amount and the RNC held $78 million, leaving about $63 million in Trump’s campaign coffers.
The Biden campaign reported a cash haul of $432 million as of October among all of the committees. The two joint fundraising committees held $153.3 million of that amount, and the Democratic National Committee held $98.2 million, leaving approximately $180 million for the Biden campaign, according to new filings Tuesday night.
While there may be some money transferred from the joint fundraising committees into the campaign accounts that are not accounted for in Tuesday’s filings, Biden nonetheless maintained a major financial advantage as of October.