Former Vice President Joe Biden will hold his first event of the 2020 campaign with former President Barack Obama on Tuesday, and more than 120,000 people have already paid to attend, according to the Biden campaign, raising more than $4 million.
The joint appearance will be the biggest grassroots fundraiser of the cycle for the Democratic Party, serving not just as a coming-out party for the former running mates but also as something of a punctuation mark on Biden’s arrival as a financial force in his own right.
In May, for the first time, Biden and the Democratic National Committee outraised President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, $80.8 million to $74 million, and receipts are on pace to surge even higher in June. Biden’s online fundraising so far this month has already surpassed May’s $34.4 million total, according to people familiar with the matter. Now, some party officials see $100 million as an achievable goal for June.
The outpouring of cash has allowed Biden to sharply cut into the enormous financial advantage that Trump and the Republican National Committee built in the lead-up to 2020, shaving tens of millions of dollars off what had been a $187 million edge entering April. Since the beginning of March, Biden and the DNC have banked more than $100 million.
The recent surge in donations comes as Trump appears increasingly vulnerable, reeling under the pressure of a national health crisis, an economic collapse and a wave of protests over racial injustice. Biden leads Trump in almost every national poll.
Still, Trump remains a prolific fundraiser, reportedly raising $10 million at a recent dinner, and he has a significant cash advantage, even if it is no longer triple that of Biden.
Biden’s brightening financial picture is the result of a rapid confluence of events.
The primary race ended earlier and the Democratic Party coalesced faster behind the former vice president than expected, sparing him the expense of a drawn-out contest across dozens of states. The coronavirus pandemic sharply shrank the cost of campaigning.
For many months, Trump’s team has boasted about its prolific fundraising hauls and swelling list of online supporters, with Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, calling his operation a “juggernaut.”