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Funds flow to Biden and Democrats after debate, boosting cash advantage

Last updated on July 18th, 2023 at 12:14 pm

By Joseph Ax and Trevor Hunnicutt

(Reuters) – Money cascaded into presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign and his Democratic Party on the heels of his rancorous debate with President Donald Trump, potentially widening Biden’s financial edge as the White House race enters its final month.

The Biden campaign raised nearly $10 million during and immediately after Tuesday’s debate, with $3.8 million coming during its best single hour of fundraising ever, according to a campaign aide familiar with the sums.

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The campaign fundraising was delivered by 215,000 total donors, including 60,000 who were new supporters, the person said.

ActBlue, the leading Democratic fundraising website, processed more than $36 million in the 16 hours after the start of the first of three debates between the two presidential candidates, according to the site’s live tracker.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment about their own fundraising totals for the evening. WinRed, the Republican counterpart to ActBlue, does not have a public tracker, and the site did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A massive uptick in Democratic fundraising followed the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after Republicans swiftly vowed to fill her seat rather than wait for the results of the Nov. 3 election, for which voting is under way.

Trump on Saturday nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal appeals judge popular with the religious right.

As of Wednesday morning, ActBlue had processed more than $420 million since the evening of Sept. 19, when news broke of Ginsburg’s death from cancer. That represents 6% of the total amount of money the site has raised since it was founded 16 years ago, all in a span of less than two weeks.

Earlier in the year, Trump had built what appeared to be an insurmountable cash advantage after raising money almost since the day he took office in 2017. But Biden has erased the gap on the strength of a robust small-dollar operation fueled by Democratic voters’ intense dislike of the president.

Biden outraised Trump in August, with his campaign and Democratic allies raking in $365 million to the Republicans’ $210 million. That gave Democrats $466 million in cash at the end of the month, while the Republicans held $325 million.

Amid a potential cash crunch that has alarmed Republican donors, the Trump campaign has pulled back on some television advertising, even as Biden has used his financial muscle to blanket the airwaves in battleground states that traditionally decide presidential elections.

The campaigns close the books on September on Wednesday night. The reporting deadline for those totals to the Federal Election Commission is Oct. 20, though the campaigns often publicly release the figures sooner than that.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Howard Goller)

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