DemDaily: Democrats Dominate First Quarter Fundraising

April 30, 2024

First quarter fundraising reports for 2024 candidates were recently released, and Democrats are dominating the money race.

Accounting from the first three months of the election year provides a crucial picture of the status of campaigns just over six months out from one of the most contentious and expensive elections in modern history.

Fundraising performance is a significant factor in measuring the viability of and momentum behind a candidate, as well as the root of that support -- from major donor endorsements to the percentage and geographic breadth of grassroots small-dollar donors.

The figures also provide insight into how campaigns are strategically (or not) spending their money, and how much cash on hand they maintain.

Presidential
The Biden Campaign has the wind at its back with a record-breaking surge in fundraising that is far outpacing the efforts of former President Donald Trump.

The President's reelection campaign announced a haul of more than $187 million in the first fundraising quarter of 2024, nearly double the $97 million the campaign raised in the last three months of 2023. 96% of all contributions were under $200, and more than 212,000 supporters are monthly donors.

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In March alone, Biden raised over $90 million -- $25 million more than the amount raised by Trump's campaign, which entered April having notched a $115 million total in the first quarter.

Biden and the Democratic National Committee's joint fundraising committee also entered April with a $192 million cash-on-hand war chest -- the highest total amassed by any Democratic candidate in American history and more than double the $93 million cash-on-hand announced by the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

In a press release, Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez noted the gap matches the cost of Trump's legal bills he has paid since leaving office: "It's a stark contrast to Trump's cash-strapped operation that is funneling the limited and billionaire-reliant funds it has to pay off his various legal fees."

“The money we are raising is historic, and it’s going to the critical work of building a winning operation, focused solely on the voters who will decide this election -- offices across the country, staff in our battleground states, and a paid media program meeting voters where they are.” - Biden Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr raised $33.4 million and reported just over $6 million on hand.

Senate
With Democrats' tenuous 51-49 control of the US Senate, just two races could flip the majority to the GOP.

Of the 34 US Senate seats up for election in 2024, Democrats are defending 23, including all seven top battleground races: Arizona, Montana, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

In every one of those Senate seats, the Democratic candidate is significantly outraising their top Republican opponent.

In three other key races -- the open seat in Maryland, and in Texas and Florida, where Democrats are mounting serious challenges to GOP incumbents -- Democrats also outraised their Republican counterparts.

The Senate Majority PAC, Democrats' primary party-linked super PAC, raised $123 million through the end of March compared to $64 million raised by the Republican Senate Leadership Fund.

Many of the [delete]Republican candidates are largely self-financing their campaigns. When that injection is removed from their fundraising tallies, the GOP candidates have raised just 22% of Democratic totals.

Across the seven most competitive races, Democratic candidates raised a collective $82.3 million. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) endorsed candidates in those seven states had just $21.5 million.

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House
House Democrats are dominating the GOP in fundraising -- amid a humiliating public crisis in Republican leadership and caucus. The GOP controls the US House 217 to 212, with an additional four Republican and two Democratic vacancies.

Democratic incumbents, nominees and frontrunners in highly competitive House districts raised an average of $890,000 in Q1 fundraising, while Republican incumbents and candidates in those districts raised on average just over $550,000 in the first three months.

Of the top 20 fundraisers in competitive districts during the first quarter, just two were Republicans.

In another auspicious sign of the momentum to retake the majority, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) outraised House Speaker Mike Johnson (LA) and the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) by $12 million in Q1, heading into the summer with $15 million more cash on hand.
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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Axios, NY1, Politico, CBS, AP, DSCC, DCCC

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