Biden Touts $127 Million June Haul to Counter Post-Debate Angst

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s campaign said it raised $127 million in June, offering a lifeline to the Democratic incumbent as he faces pressure to step aside following a harrowing debate performance last week.

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The haul, which represented the Biden campaign’s best fundraising month of the election cycle, included $38 million raised in the four days starting Thursday, the day of the presidential debate, the first between Biden and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump this cycle.

Biden aides have pointed to their ability to rake in cash despite his performance as evidence the president retained his party’s support and had not irrevocably damaged his campaign. The president himself attended a series of high-dollar fundraisers across the New York area over the weekend, where he pledged to donors that he would work harder and signaled his intention to remain in the race.

“This election will be close and the stakes couldn’t be higher – which is why today’s fundraising haul matters so much,” campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

Still, a number of high-profile Democratic donors have sounded alarm in the aftermath of the debate, with some urging Biden to consider stepping aside. While top campaign and party officials have spent recent days trying to reassure the president’s backers, Biden could face trouble if post-debate polls show a collapse in support.

But Biden’s sizable war chest is one reason Democratic operatives have downplayed the possibility of another candidate stepping in.

The campaign said Biden and the Democratic Party had $240 million in cash on hand, up from $212 million at the end of May. Even as it stockpiled more cash, the campaign spent heavily on media and resources to get out the vote in November. The campaign has more than 200 offices in battleground states, staffed by more than 1,000 people. It spent more than $50 million on paid media in June.

Grassroots donors provided nearly two-thirds of Biden’s June total, and the campaign added 864,000 new small-dollar donors in the second quarter. More than 1.5 million donors made over 2.8 million contributions over that period. Nearly half of grassroots donations following the first presidential debate came from first-time donors to the campaign.

Trump has yet to report his June fundraising haul but raised more than Biden for the first time in April and May, likely narrowing a once formidable fundraising deficit to the president.

Earlier: Trump Outraises Biden in May as Billionaires Cut Big Checks

Biden has been ramping up his money-raising efforts in recent weeks, including a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser last month that featured celebrities including George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and former President Barack Obama, that the campaign said raised $30 million. Another June fundraising event in Virginia where he was joined by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised another $8 million.

While Biden’s June tally is a sizable jump over his May haul of $85 million, it falls short of the $141 million Trump raised that month.

Trump’s operation earlier in the campaign faced a potential cash crunch as his legal challenges drained his coffers, but the former president has rebounded, aided by his conviction in a Manhattan hush-money trial that rallied Republicans behind him and an intensified outreach to deep-pocketed donors who have been a receptive audience for his pledges to cut taxes and regulations if returned to the White House.

Tuesday’s fundraising announcement comes on the heels of another dramatic event that offers to shape the race between Biden and Trump. On Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled that Trump has some immunity from criminal charges over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden, a decision that means any trial in that case is unlikely before November’s election.

Campaigns and party committees are due to report detailed information on their donors and spending to the Federal Election Commission on July 20.

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