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March fundraising numbers show Biden significantly outpacing Trump

Former President Barack Obama (left) and former President Bill Clinton (right) cheer for President Biden during a campaign fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 28.
Brendan Smialowski
/
AFP via Getty Images
Former President Barack Obama (left) and former President Bill Clinton (right) cheer for President Biden during a campaign fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 28.

Updated April 6, 2024 at 3:11 PM ET

The Biden reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee significantly outraised former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the month of March, according to new fundraising numbers released by the Biden campaign on Saturday.

The Biden campaign and DNC combined to raise $90 million in March, according to figures released by the campaign. Biden's reelection effort ended the month with $192 million cash on hand, a significant war chest even as the campaign is spending millions on television ads and opening field offices in key states around the country.

"The money we are raising is historic," said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden-Harris 2024 campaign manager. "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."

In March, the Biden campaign and Democrats raised $26 million in a single night with a star-studded event featuring Biden on stage with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at Radio City Music Hall in New York. According to the campaign, the president's fiery State of the Union address juiced grassroots fundraising, bringing in more than $10 million in small dollar donations in the 24 hours around the speech.

Compare that to Trump, whose campaign, combined with the Republican National Committee, reported raising $66 million in the month of March. They finished with $93 million on hand, nearly $100 million less than Biden and Democrats.

March was the month both candidates officially became their party's presumptive nominees. As an incumbent president, Biden had long ago combined forces with the DNC and state parties to maximize the amount donors could give to their efforts to retain the White House. Trump, meanwhile, had a competitive primary and didn't combine forces with the RNC for fundraising until early March.

"Our campaign, working together with the RNC, has been steadily ramping up our fundraising efforts, and our March numbers are a testament to the overwhelming support for President Trump by voters all across the spectrum," said Susie Wiles, senior adviser to the Trump campaign. "Republicans may not be beneficiaries of the self interested largess from Hollywood and Silicon Valley elites, but President Trump is proud to be supported by donations from voters who are the backbone of this nation, which will fuel Republicans up and down the ballot."

It's not clear how much of Trump's March fundraising haul came from grassroots supporters and how much came from wealthy donors. That level of detail won't be clear until the campaigns file their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission later this month. But the self-reported numbers from Trump and the RNC do represent a major improvement over previously anemic months for the former president and his party.

Trump's campaign is already boasting that it will eclipse last month's glitzy Biden fundraiser tonight with a high-dollar donor event in Palm Beach organized by GOP megadonor John Paulson. A source familiar with the event who is not authorized to speak publicly told NPR they have secured commitments of more than $50 million. The Trump campaign also insists it doesn't need to spend as much on advertising as the Biden campaign because the former president is a ratings and clicks juggernaut.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: April 5, 2024 at 10:00 PM MDT
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified a Trump donor as Paul Singer. The donor's name is John Paulson.
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Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.