Biden keeps pace with Trump in April fundraising, but still faces campaign cash chasm

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) came close to matching the April fundraising haul by President Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, but Trump and the RNC still have a more than two-to-one advantage in cash on hand, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.

The former vice president’s campaign and the DNC combined brought in just over $60 million last month, keeping pace with Trump’s re-election team, the RNC, and allied joint fundraising committees, which say they hauled in a combined $61.7 million.

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But Trump and the RNC – which have been building a fundraising juggernaut for more than three years – have roughly $255 million cash on hand, compared with the approximately $100 million the Biden campaign and DNC have in their coffers. Biden didn’t launch his presidential campaign until April of last year, and faced a competitive primary battle. He became the Democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee last month, after his last remaining rival – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – dropped out of the race and backed the former vice president.

The Biden campaign’s cash haul was down slightly from its record-setting figures in March, as social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic scrubbed all in-person top-dollar fundraisers and forced the campaign to move to virtual fundraising events.

The Trump team is spending some of its money to run a $10 million ad-blitz that takes aim at Biden. The former vice president’s campaign has yet to make a major TV ad buy since the start of the general election campaign.

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In the battle for campaign cash, the main super PAC supporting Trump’s re-election hauled in nearly $17 million in April, far more than the leading super PAC backing presumptive Biden’s White House bid.

America First PAC hauled in $11.6 million last month, with its allied group America First Policies bringing in $5.2, for a combined total of roughly $16.8 million

In comparison, the pro-Biden Priorities USA outside group Priorities USA announced that it raised $7.6 million in April across all three of its entities.

America First has been using the money raised to run a $10 million ad blitz which charges that the former vice president is soft on China, where the coronavirus pandemic originated.

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Priorities USA is currently running TV commercials in the key general election battleground states that argue that the president initially downplayed the severity of the outbreak and has botched the federal response to the crisis. The group says it will spend $65 million to run the spots through the November election.

Super PACs – which are prevented by law from coordinating with the presidential campaigns and the national party committees – have become major players in campaign politics the past decade, following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates for such outside groups to spend freely.