United States Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s first 2020 fundraiser with former President Barack Obama has netted more than $4m from more than 120,000 people ahead of their joint appearance on Tuesday, the campaign said on Tuesday.
The virtual event could amount to Biden’s largest haul from small-dollar donors, and it comes on the heels of the Democratic Party and his campaign outraising President Donald Trump in May for the first time, $80.8m to $74m.
The Republican president, who has been campaigning for a second term since 2017, still has a spending advantage ahead of the November 3 presidential election.
Trump’s campaign, party and other fundraising entities had $265m in cash at the end of May. The Democrats and Biden, who launched his campaign in April 2019, held a combined $122m, not including some fundraising entities that have not disclosed their records.
Early in the 2020 campaign, Biden’s weak fundraising numbers compared to those of some of his Democratic competitors were a source of concern. But he saw his fundraising from donors pick up in recent weeks as his lead in national opinion polls grew and the country reacted to incidents of police brutality.
The event on Tuesday also shows the drawing power of Obama. He endorsed Biden, his former vice president, in April but has not been actively campaigning for Biden, as in-person events were largely cancelled due to the coronavirus.
CNN said Obama plans to highlight Biden’s leadership, and why he is the right leader for the “turbulent moment” through which the US is living.
The former president will reportedly stress Biden’s “empathetic leadership” in the midst of what critics say is the Trump administration’s failure to adequately address the coronavirus pandemic and its economic toll, and nationwide protests against police brutality.
The Biden campaign is hoping to come close to matching Trump’s war chest so it can counter his advertising, his get-out-the-vote operations in battleground states, and his eventual campaign travel with their own efforts.
A high-dollar fundraising event held last week for Biden with 620 donors and hosted by Senator Elizabeth Warren took in $6m, the most ever for Biden’s campaign.