President Joe Biden raised $72 million for his reelection effort and for the Democratic Party in his first quarter of fundraising since launching his reelection bid in April, his campaign announced Friday.
The showing could help quell some concerns about the president’s ability to fundraise as he seeks a second term. His campaign boasted an average contribution of $39 from nearly 400,000 donors and said 97% of all donations were less than $200.
Biden’s campaign, which has yet to open a headquarters and maintains a skeletal staff several months in, also boasted a sizable war chest, with $77 million in cash on hand at June 30, the end of the quarter.
While the president’s fundraising haul is stronger than any other 2024 presidential contender, it falls short of the record-breaking $86 million raised in 2011 by President Barack Obama for his reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee in his first quarter of fundraising after launching his second-term bid.
Obama’s campaign also boasted 158,000 more individual donors in that quarter than Biden’s reported total. Donor contribution limits were lower in the 2012 cycle than they are now: Individual donors could give a maximum of $2,500 to Obama’s campaign when he ran for a second term. This cycle, the individual limit is $3,300. The disparity in maximum contributions between the two cycles is even higher when totaling the maximum allowed contribution to joint fundraising committees.
Obama launched his campaign three weeks earlier in the second quarter of 2011 than Biden did this year, and as a result, Biden campaign officials noted that they raised more per day than Obama’s campaign did in that quarter.
Responding to questions about the fewer number of individual donors for Biden compared with Obama’s first quarter of reelection fundraising, Biden campaign officials pointed to a “very different” political climate that has made grassroots fundraising more challenging across the board this year, with political fatigue setting in on both the right and the left.
Still, the campaign officials said there were signs of enthusiasm, adding that 30% of campaign donors this past quarter had not previously donated to Biden’s 2020 campaign.
A fundraising sweepstakes to meet the president was especially successful, raising nearly $2 million, campaign officials said. And campaign merchandise that embraced the “Dark Brandon” meme drove over half of the campaign store’s revenue, according to the officials.
Biden campaign officials declined to disclose the breakdown between funds raised for the campaign versus those raised for the DNC and state parties that are participants in Biden’s joint fundraising operation, noting that Biden’s campaign is heavily integrated with those entities as part of its strategies. That breakdown will become available when the campaign files its report with the Federal Election Commission by Saturday’s deadline.
In another point of comparison, in 2019, President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $105 million in the second quarter, though Trump’s reelection operation had been well underway for more than two years at that point.
“Let’s not forget the months of hype about then-President Trump’s “Death Star” his team spent all of 2019 building, which completely fell apart by summer 2020 while the Biden campaign’s rebel alliance surpassed them and then continued to break fundraising records until Election Day,” Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said in response to the comparison. “That’s not exactly the playbook we’re looking to replicate.”
Trump’s 2024 campaign reported last week that the former president’s joint fundraising committee had raised more than $35 million in the second quarter of the year. Trump launched his comeback bid for the White House in November. The campaign of his chief rival for the GOP nomination – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – reported that it had raised $20 million through June 30 over the six weeks since he announced his candidacy in late May.
Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez touted the latest fundraising totals as evidence of “incredible enthusiasm” for the president’s agenda and campaign.
“We’ve seen incredible enthusiasm for President Biden and Vice President Harris’ agenda – including their commitment to restoring democracy, fighting for more freedoms and growing the economy by growing the middle class. While Republicans are burning through resources in a divisive primary focused on who can take the most extreme MAGA positions, we are significantly outraising every single one of them – because our team’s strength is our grassroots supporters,” Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.