Originally it had been reported that the Biden campaign would be waiting until Oct. 15, the latest deadline for campaigns to release their third-quarter fundraising numbers. However, news dropped this morning that Biden’s numbers are out, and they’re quite abysmal. In what can only be described as a total nosedive in fundraising, Biden’s third-quarter number came in at a paltry $15.2 million raise over the last three months. That’s down about 35% from his second-quarter haul of $21.5 million right after he launched his campaign.
Biden is not only being surpassed by President Trump and the RNC, which would be expected at this point, but he’s being destroyed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has not yet released her third-quarter numbers at the time of this story.
So far, of the numbers we have, here is the entire field. Biden’s official filing isn’t out yet, but the candidate himself released the number to donors in California on Thursday.
Bernie Sanders: $25.3 million
Pete Buttigieg: $19.1 million
Joe Biden: $15.2 million (approximate)
Kamala Harris: $11.6 million
Andrew Yang: $10 million
Cory Booker: $6 million
As noted, we don’t have Warren’s numbers yet, but it’s likely she’ll be somewhere in the mix of Biden, Buttigieg, and Sanders.
As Time notes, many candidates see a drop-off in fundraising during summer months, but for Biden’s “electability” argument, these numbers are simply awful:
Biden recently told donors in Palo Alto, Calif., that his campaign was expected to announce a $15 million third-quarter fundraising number, according to Bloomberg. That’s off from the $21.5 million he raised in the second quarter as a brand-new contender. Most candidates see a donor drop-off during the summer lull, but any perceived dip to Biden’s aura of inevitability face high scrutiny, especially among activists and donors who, above all else, want someone who can defeat Trump.
There is no good way to slice these numbers for the Biden campaign. His mantle of being considered the frontrunner has all-but vanished. Since the late Spring when he jumped in the campaign, he’s continued to be particularly weak despite leading most state and national polls.
The Biden campaign is putting the best shine they can on these lackluster third-quarter results:
“Today’s fundraising totals put the campaign in a strong position as we enter the fall,” said Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz in a statement. “The question any campaign faces at this point is whether or not you have the resources to compete in early states and sustain your efforts beyond. Our campaign unequivocally does and builds on our strength each week.”
With President Trump attacking Biden daily over Hunter Biden’s ties with Ukraine and China, the Biden campaign is carefully trying to turn that into a fundraising pitch and use it as evidence that Trump is fearful of facing Biden in the general election next year:
What is more immediately clear, though, is that Biden is trying to use the headline-dominating news that Trump talked about his family with the Ukrainians to drum up dirt and possibly connected U.S. aid to it. The challenge is that there are some facts — none illegal — in this scenario that could be a headache for Biden’s team in Philadelphia.
The problem, in this scenario, is that no one knows exactly how this impeachment play by House Democrats will end. There is fear it could backfire, and much of the damage could spill back on Biden if something nefarious is found between his son’s position on the board of Ukranian energy company Burisma.
There are a lot of balls in the air, so to speak, and it’s unclear where everything is going to land. Biden’s walking a fine line right now of trying to push back on President Trump, push back on his Democratic opponents, and keep his donor base motivated that he will weather this storm and come out victorious as the 2020 Democratic nominee.
As Time notes, it’s going to get worse for Biden before it gets better since the RNC is planning to spend $10 million on a media blitz against him:
Biden is facing trouble coming at him from all corners. Trump is telling foreign governments that he wants to see them launch an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Trump and the Republican National Committee are spending $10 million on a media campaign trying to frame the Bidens as corrupt and profiteers, and an ad submitted to CNN is seen as so misleading that the cable channel refuses to run it.
This wild October will continue with Biden trying to dig out of this pit and remind Democratic voters why they should put their trust in him moving forward.