Top Biden Fundraisers Report 'Depression' as Their Strategy Goes Up in Smoke


While any close presidential race has unpredictable elements, there are several things that pretty much everyone agrees need to be in alignment for President Joe Biden to win re-election:

Making sure minority voters keeps voting Democrat and come out on Election Day. No senior moments by the president during the debates or major speeches. And, most importantly, a huge fundraising advantage.

In 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton wasn’t able to defeat GOP candidate Donald Trump despite a big advantage in cash. In 2020, that advantage was critical to Biden, who won a narrow victory despite a massive lead in campaign fundraising.

At the very least, that advantage appeared to be lining up again in 2024. And then came the kangaroo court trial in New York City, among other things.

Now, data have indicated that whatever fundraising edge Biden had has been all but wiped out.

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According to CNBC, data shared by Biden’s camp show the president’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised $85 million combined in May — dwarfed by the $141 million taken in by former President Trump’s campaign and the Republication National Committee.

On Sunday, Politico reported after conversations with those in Biden’s orbit that “his allies are bracing for a slugfest without the benefit of a fatter wallet, as financial reports showed Trump outraising Biden in back-to-back months, hauling in huge sums after his 34 felony convictions and erasing Biden’s longstanding financial edge.”

Thursday filings with the Federal Elections Commission indicated that, for the first time this race, Trump had an advantage in cash on hand, with his campaign and the RNC at $116.5 million compared to Biden/DNC coffers at $91.6 million.

The Politico report indicated that while the Biden camp was trying to play down Trump’s advantage, panic was setting in.

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“There was the strategy of raising all this money on the front end so we could have this huge edge,” one anonymous Biden bundler told the publication.

“The whole point of it was to come out with a sizable cash advantage and, you know, we’re now even and it’s June. … I have no other word for it other than ‘depression’ among Biden supporters.”

Another said it was “disappointing, but not surprising.”

Those who went on the record insisted it was all part of the plan. They’d expected Trump to start reeling in the big bucks once the Republican nomination race was out of the way and there was nothing he could do to make up for the early advantage Biden had racked up.

“That early money counted because it allowed for Biden to build out all of these offices, which have been cranking along, and that’s not something Trump can catch up on,” Pennsylvania-based donor Alan Kessler told Politico.

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“Trump can’t get back February, March, April and May, when the Biden campaign was getting boots on the ground.”

“Our campaign, from the moment we’ve started, is more focused on what we’re doing with our resources, rather than trying to play a game of who’s raising what,” said Quentin Fulks, Biden’s deputy campaign manager. “That is where our investments are going, directly into field [operations].”

There are several problems with this position, however, even beyond the fact that there was never really a competitive Republican primary to speak of.

The first is that, if there was an early push to get boots on the ground in swing states with the campaign money that Biden was raking in, nobody was apparently informing swing state voters of it. Indeed, even as Biden has closed on Trump on a national level in the national RealClearPolitics polling average, he still remains behind — and, most importantly, polls of swing states consistently show Trump ahead in nearly all of them, in addition to potentially creating new battlegrounds in unlikely states.

Whatever boots are on the ground in purple states from Pennsylvania to Arizona and everywhere in between, in other words, have either been silent or useless.

The second problem is that, again, the money advantage was always supposed to be taken for granted among Biden’s people. In fact, it was a necessity.

Whether it’s the free exposure Trump seems to get simply because of his name and his following, or the fact he’s learned to do more with less, this was supposed to be the third straight election cycle the GOP nominee was supposed to tackle with significantly reduced financial resources compared to his opponent. Given Biden’s historic unpopularity, in fact, a huge cash advantage was more critical than ever.

Democrat strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who talked to Politico for the piece, agreed that the overly rosy assessments from Biden’s people were just that — and it was time for the left to start worrying.

“What Democrats should worry about is that it’s even within distance — that the money is going on at Trump’s side at such a clip,” he said. “You would think a guy who’s convicted of crimes would be nowhere, but he’s everywhere financially. And that is a real problem for Democrats.”

“The challenger shouldn’t even be close on the money side, especially a guy who’s convicted of felonies. How is this possible, is what the Democrats should be asking. … That’s what they should be worried about.”

Precisely. With the swing-state numbers uniformly not going Biden’s way and minority poll results for the president at historic lows for a Democrat, Biden’s campaign needs liquidity — and a lot of it. He was counting on it, the same way he was counting on using the words “convicted criminal” over and over again to tar-and-feather his opponent.

Not only is that phrase now a badge of honor for Trump, considering how rigged the proceedings in Manhattan’s criminal court appeared to the non-Democratic observer, but they’ve also helped wipe out that financial advantage the Biden campaign was planning to lean on.

“Depression,” indeed, might be too mild of a word for these financial results — and if the numbers don’t turn around fast, the president could be in deeper trouble than he already is.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture