DemDaily: 2nd Quarter Fundraising Positions Presidentials

July 17, 2023

Fundraising reports for the parties' major presidential candidates were published on Saturday, with the Biden-Harris campaign announcing a haul of over $72 million in the second quarter of 2023 -- outraising more than all the Republican presidential contenders combined, including Donald Trump by more than 2 to 1.

The campaign fundraising and activity report, the first President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have submitted since launching their reelection bid 83 days ago. delivered a crucial and historically successful show of support for the President amid concerns over his age, reflected in early polling.

Biden-Harris Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez also announced the campaign's total of $77 million cash on hand -- the highest total amassed by a Democrat at any comparable point in history -- touting that 97% of all donations were under $200, the average grassroots contribution was $39, and 30% of donors are new since their 2020 campaign.

The campaign's success is aided by a joint fundraising agreement (JFA) with all 50 state parties and DC that allows the campaign and the Democratic Party to to expand its rapid appeal.

Environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, one of two candidates challenging Biden in the Democratic primary, has raised $6.4 million since launching in April, ending Q2 with $4.5 million cash on hand. Although a longshot, Kennedy has capitalized on his family name recognition and controversial statements regarding vaccine safety to draw headlines and donors.

Author and 2020 Democratic primary candidate Marianne Williamson reported $921,000 raised in the second quarter, $120,000 of which she loaned herself, and $105,000 cash on hand at the start of Q3.

At 477 days out from the November 2024 election, fundraising performance is an important factor in measuring viability and momentum for a candidate, from the public support of major donors to widespread grassroots support through the number and geographic breadth of small-dollar donors. The figures also provide insight into how campaigns are stategically (or not) spending their money and how much cash on hand they maintain.

The fundraising reports mark a crucial point in the GOP presidential primary, with an apparently full field of now 14 candidates and just five weeks until the first Republican presidential debate.

President Donald Trump raised $17.7 million in the second quarter for a total of $36 million amassed for his primary campaign account. He had $22.5 million cash on hand heading into the third quarter.

As with other candidates, these numbers do not take into account super PACs or other political vehicles independently supporting each candidate.

Save America, which splits proceeds from Trump's joint fundraising committee with his official campaign, announced $17.3 million raised this quarter.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis raised $20.1 million in Q2, but his burn rate is high, with more than $8 million expended since his late May entry into the contest, and $9 million on hand going into Q3. Criticized for its rapid rampup, with over twice as many full-time employees as Trump, DeSantis' campaign announced it is has let go of over a dozen staffers in a "cost-cutting measure." Separately, Never Back Down, a DeSantis-aligned super PAC, has benefited from the transfer of $82.5 million left over from DeSantis' Florida reelection campaign.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum raised $11.8 million since his June 7 announcement -- $10.2 million of which he lent the campaign himself. He had $3.7 million on hand going into Q3.

Conservative author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also dipped into his personal finances, lending his campaign nearly $5.5 million of the $7.7 million it raised in Q2 -- bringing its contribution totals to $19.1 million with $9 million cash on hand.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who raised $5.8 million in Q2, benefited from funds raised for his 2022 reelection, which makes up for most of the whopping $21 million cash on hand in his presidential account -- second only to Donald Trump.

Former UN Secretary and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley raised $5.3 million from April to June, for a total of $10.4 million since entering the race in February, and has $6.8 million cash on hand.

To qualify for the GOP primary debate stage on August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, candidates must have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to their principal presidential campaign committee, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories -- as presented to the RNC no later than 48 hours prior to the debate. Candidates must also poll at least 1% in three national surveys or 1% in two national surveys and two early-state (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) surveys -- taken between July 1 and the first debate.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has raised a modest $1.7 million since entering the race six weeks ago, with $1.6 million on hand.

Despite his national profile, former Vice President Mike Pence's campaign reported a mere $1.2 million for Q2 and $1.1 million cash on hand. He surpassed only the marginal campaigns of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, conservative radio host Larry Elder and former Congressman Will Hurd, all of whom raised less than $1 million.

According to their campaigns, Trump, DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy, Scott, and Christie have qualified for the first GOP primary debate.

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: The Endorsement Game 7/6/23
DemDaily: DNC Navigates Precarious Primaries 6/23/23
DemDaily: Labor Backs Biden 6/20/23
DemDaily: The Rules of Debate 6/8/23
DemDaily: GOP Field Tops Nine 6/7/23
DemDaily: DeSantis Declares 5/25/23
DemDaily: The Expanding GOP Field 5/22/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: AP, CNN, New York Times, FEC, Reuters, Seattle Times, Washington Post

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