02:06 - Source: CNN
How important are early fundraising numbers for 2020?
CNN —  

Joe Biden revealed Monday that his campaign may have raised nearly $20 million since the former vice president entered the 2020 race – a figure that would surpass the amount raised by any of the Democratic presidential candidates in the first fundraising quarter.

He told attendees at a New York City fundraiser Monday evening that 360,000 donors have given to his campaign with an average contribution of $55, which would total $19.8 million.

Biden told his supporters they have “allowed me to be able to compete in a way that I’ve never been able to before. We’ve raised a great deal of money.”

Biden’s preview of a massive fundraising haul comes the week before the 2020 Democratic contenders meet in Miami for their first debate, an event that will draw a national audience and could reshape the race to take on President Donald Trump, who is holding an event Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, to kick off his reelection bid.

The Biden campaign declined to comment further on his fundraising numbers. The campaign had previously revealed the former vice president raised $6.3 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate.

If accurate, Biden’s fundraising haul since he entered the race in April would put him ahead of the amounts raised by his Democratic opponents during the first fundraising quarter. Bernie Sanders led the field with $18.2 million in the first 41 days of his campaign. He was followed by Kamala Harris at $12 million, Beto O’Rourke at $9.4 million and Buttigieg at $7.1 million.

The candidates are 13 days away from the close of the second fundraising quarter, when they’ll all have to report how much they have raised and spent, so it is too early to compare Biden’s haul to how much his leading Democratic opponents have raised over the same period.

With the second quarter wrapping up at the end of June, Biden has devoted a substantial amount of time to fundraising since he entered the race. As of Monday night, he has held 17 fundraisers across the country with three more slated in New York on Tuesday and a West Coast swing planned at the end of the month.

Buttigieg is also expected announce a successful second quarter fundraising haul. A host of top Buttigieg donors who have been in regular contact with the campaign tell CNN that they expect the mayor to raise more than $15 million in the second quarter.

CNN’s Eric Bradner contributed to this report.