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Biden campaign touts strongest single-month grassroots fundraising haul in February as it targets anti-Trump voters

US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 5, 2024. - Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden raised at least $42 million for his reelection campaign and the Democratic Party in February, campaign officials told CNN, a total fueled by the strongest month of grassroots donations during this election cycle – which campaign officials say demonstrates an under-appreciated level of enthusiasm for the president.

Biden campaign officials told CNN that last month’s grassroots fundraising included nearly $2 million in grassroots donations on the final day of the month, February 29. That marked the campaign’s second strongest grassroots fundraising day of the cycle so far, following the official launch of the Biden reelection operation on April 25. CNN was first to report on the figures.

The president and his team have been fighting off concerns about a lack of enthusiasm around his reelection, with recent polls showing voters’ worries about his age and key issues like the economy.

Deputy campaign manager Rob Flaherty told CNN that they believe the strength of their grassroots fundraising is directly correlated to underlying enthusiasm for the Biden candidacy.

“It shows that we have a lot of different ways to raise money and it shows the effectiveness of the grassroots fundraising operation that we’ve built,” Flaherty said. “There’s just an enthusiastic Joe Biden donor that exists and nobody talks about.”

On February 29, the campaign had solicited donations tied to the end of the month and promoted an upcoming campaign event featuring Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Flaherty and director of grassroots fundraising Jess Porter told CNN in an interview. But the day had not been defined by an outsized news story or an unusual fundraising push by the campaign, they said.

Meanwhile, an email that went out to supporters under first lady Dr. Jill Biden’s name on February 12 criticizing special counsel Robert Hur’s controversial report about Biden’s handling of classified documents, which painted the president as an elderly man with memory problems, was the second best-performing fundraising email of the cycle so far, according to campaign officials.

The Biden campaign had raised more than $42 million in January and had ended that month with $130 million on hand – the biggest figured amassed by a Democratic presidential candidate at that point in the election cycle.

Around a third of the campaign’s grassroots contributors – about a million people who make small-dollar donations and don’t attend campaign fundraisers – are new donors who had not previously donated to Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris, according to the campaign.

The campaign sees that data point as a sign that “there’s a lot more room to grow” on the fundraising front as it approaches Election Day, Flaherty told CNN.

If the majority of grassroots donors so far are more or less enthusiastic supporters of Biden and Harris, he said, the campaign believes that there are still many more voters who can be described as the “’I want to stop Donald Trump’ voters” that the Biden team can tap into for fresh support.

The campaign says it is also seeing the effectiveness of warning about a second Trump term in the White House, officials say. In the 48 hours following the South Carolina primary last month, in which Trump handedly defeated the state’s former governor Nikki Haley, the Biden campaign pulled in $1.6 million in grassroots donations, they said.

“All of the content we were sending out into the world was reinforcing the risks that Trump poses if he’s reelected, which is a thing that our donors are very receptive to,” Porter told CNN. “And they’re starting to tune into more and more as it becomes clearer and clearer that he is the GOP’s nominee.”

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