Mar 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Inside Biden's monster cash advantage over Trump

Cash on hand for select election campaigns and committees
Data: FEC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

President Biden and his campaign have begun openly taunting former President Trump over the massive — and growing — disparity in fundraising between the two parties' presumptive nominees.

Why it matters: Democrats hold a staggering cash advantage over Republicans at virtually every level of national politics. And the money raised by Trump's political operation is increasingly flowing into a black hole of legal expenses.

By the numbers: The Biden campaign and the DNC ended February with more than twice as much cash on hand ($97.5 million) as Trump and the RNC ($44.8 million), according to new campaign finance reports.

Zoom in: Trump's leadership PAC, Save America, spent more than $6.9 million on legal-related expenses last month — equivalent to a staggering $238,000 per day, according to The Daily Beast.

  • An allied super PAC, MAGA Inc., has refunded Save America $52.25 million of a $60 million donation over the past few months — leaving Trump's PAC just $7.75 million of refundable cash to pay his attorneys.
  • In a sign of just how deep his personal money troubles run, Trump complained Thursday that posting a $464 million bond to appeal New York's fraud case against him is "not possible."

The intrigue: Former GOP candidate Nikki Haley, whose donors have been courted by Biden allies since she ended her campaign, reported more cash on hand ($11.5 million) at the end of February than the RNC ($11.3 million).

The big picture: The Biden campaign and allied outside groups could spend as much as $3 billion on the president's re-election effort, according to the New York Times — a figure unprecedented in U.S. history.

  • But money can only take a candidate so far: Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite being out-raised by more than $200 million, according to Open Secrets.
  • Michael Bloomberg famously spent more than $1 billion on his four-month presidential campaign in 2020, only to win just 31 pledged delegates by the time of his departure.

What they're saying: "Trump can't raise money, isn't campaigning, and is letting convicts and conspiracy theorists run his campaign," the Biden campaign said in a press release titled, "Broke Don Hides in Basement."

  • Biden himself joked at a fundraiser in Texas on Wednesday: "Just the other day, this defeated-looking man came up to me and said, 'Mr. President, I need your help. I'm in crushing debt. I'm completely wiped out,'" Bi
  • "I said, 'Sorry, Donald, I can't help you.'"
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