New campaign fundraising numbers have been released for the 2024 presidential race
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Long before any people vote in the 2024 presidential election, their money votes.
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
Yeah. The latest campaign finance numbers are in. They show the enthusiasm of both large and small donors. So who's ahead?
INSKEEP: NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has been counting. Hey there, Tam.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hello.
INSKEEP: All right. Who has the most money?
KEITH: So for this quarter, from April through June, President Biden has raised $72 million. That does include fundraising by the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees because Biden's campaign is working hand in hand with the DNC. That is a distinct advantage the incumbent has over Republicans who don't have party backing until there's a nominee. I spoke with Biden campaign co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said that the president got donations from about 400,000 individuals.
JEFFREY KATZENBERG: Ninety-seven percent of those donations are under $200, with the average at $39. Those are stunning numbers. You know, in two days in San Francisco, President Biden raised over $10 million.
KEITH: That 10 million in two days was raked in at Tony fundraising events, where contributions absolutely did not average $39. And it is worth noting that, while Biden raised almost as much as all of the Republicans combined, he is short of what Presidents Obama and Trump raised at this point in their reelection bids.
INSKEEP: OK. Wow. A lot of numbers there. But you're telling me that his fundraising is behind where the last two incumbent presidents were when they were seeking a second term and were at this point in the cycle. So he's behind that but, you said, ahead of all the Republicans. How are they doing?
KEITH: Well, former President Trump, who's running again, their campaign says they raised $35 million. But the filing from this weekend only gives a partial picture - 18 million - most of it transferred from a joint fundraising committee, which hasn't filed its numbers yet. He does come with a fundraising advantage, a large base of voters and small-dollar supporters who are on automatic payment plans. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis raised $20 million in fewer than 40 days in the race, but he also spent roughly $8 million, which is a lot. Several news outlets are reporting that he is shedding staff and trying to make a course correction. But on Fox News this weekend, he defended his campaign.
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RON DESANTIS: The No. 1 thing I hear from people is this. When they come up to me, they're like, yeah, you know, I knew you did good in Florida. You know, I heard good things, but I hadn't seen you yet. And now that I see - seen you, I'm for you. And so that's going to be what we're going to do over the next six months.
KEITH: Former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie both announced in June - early June. They raised a million dollars and $1.5 million each. Those are pretty small numbers for the anti-Trump candidates. Just a bit of perspective - Robert Kennedy Jr, who's running in the Democratic primary, he traffics in conspiracy theories and is in the middle of an antisemitism scandal at the moment, raised $6 million in the quarter, more than twice as much as those two big-name Republicans combined.
INSKEEP: Wow. Interesting revelation there about who can raise how much money. So what else do you learn from this?
KEITH: You know, it can be an indicator of enthusiasm for a campaign - in particular, those small donors, the grassroots donations.
KEITH: A lot of these campaigns are coming up short in that area. Here's an example. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was speaking at the Turning Point Action Conference over the weekend and started talking about the soccer great Lionel Messi, who's coming to the professional team in Miami.
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FRANCIS SUAREZ: Anyone who wants to see him play his first game - I think it's July 21 - we have - what's that? - just give a dollar, Venmo.
KEITH: He needs those dollars to make the debate stage. There's a threshold, and he's nowhere near close.
INSKEEP: OK. NPR's Tamara Keith, thanks so much.
KEITH: You're welcome.
(SOUNDBITE OF GLADSTONE ANDERSON AND LYNN TAITT AND THE JETS' "IF I ONLY HAD TIME")
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