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Campaign Funding Disparity Between Democrats and Republicans

Comparing Biden's and Trump's economic policies - Marketplace

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Which presidential candidate has the fundraising advantage?

Here’s how much money the campaigns of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have raised so far, according to their Federal Election Commission filings. (Keep in mind that Trump’s reelection campaign had a fundraising head start.)

Of course, the universe of campaign finance is far bigger than what one candidate raises alone. Each party has its own committee to help elect a president, which can work in concert with the official campaign and further contributes to the war chest.

And campaigns often announce those joint fundraising totals before filing their FEC paperwork, so what this tracker has and what the campaign says can differ.

Also, groups like super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts, can help or hurt the fortunes of a presidential nominee. On both Biden’s and Trump’s sides, these independent groups have raised tens of millions of dollars on their own.

Democrats go into the final weeks of the presidential campaign with a cash advantage.

As of the beginning of this month, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, combined with the Democratic Party, had about $30 million more in the bank than President Trump’s reelection effort and the Republican Party, according to campaign finance filings made public Sunday evening.

Adding in joint fundraising committees extends Democrats’ financial advantage. The Biden campaign told NPR that it and Democrats had $466 million cash on hand at the end of August, while a Trump campaign spokesperson said his side entered September with $325 million in the bank.

That’s a reversal. Trump started raising money for his 2020 effort unusually early — at the start of his presidency — and he maintained an advantage over Biden in terms of cash on hand through the early part of the summer.

But Biden and Democrats had been gaining on him and then had a blockbuster fundraising month in August, taking in $365 million. Nearly one-third of Biden and Democrats’ total fundraising for this election cycle came last month.

Speaking Monday September 21, 2020 on Fox & Friends, Trump downplayed the financial challenge his campaign now faces.

“We have a lot of money,” he said. “I mean, how much money do you need? You need yourself.” Trump was at a financial disadvantage in the 2016 race and won.

His campaign and the Republican National Committee spent almost all the money they took in during August, though they were still outspent by Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to the filings.

These documents offer only a partial picture of spending since certain committees working with the campaigns are required to file only quarterly.

On television advertisements, Biden outspent Trump nearly 4 to 1 in August, according to the tracking firm Ad Analytics.

Trump’s campaign bought no ads on local TV in Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire, and was outspent by Biden significantly in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

August was the first full month with Bill Stepien as Trump’s campaign manager.

Asked about the campaign’s cash situation on a call with reporters earlier this month, Stepien said: “Creating or re-creating the budget was the first thing that I did upon becoming the campaign manager. And it’s something that we as a team manage every single day from this day forward, from this day forward to Election Day. We will have more resources to spend than we had in 2016.”

In a statement Monday, the Biden campaign announced it was expanding its TV advertising footprint to Georgia and Iowa. The campaign says it now has advertising up in 12 states.

For the first time this election, Joe Biden is sitting on the biggest pile of cash — and he’s vastly outspending President Donald Trump, too.

Biden is entering the final stretch of the general election with $141 million more in the bank than Trump, a stunning reversal of fortunes from last spring, when Trump held a hefty financial edge as the nearly broke Biden emerged from the Democratic nominating contest.

Biden and the Democratic National Committee, along with their affiliated joint-fundraising groups, have $466 million in the bank, according to a Biden campaign official, after raising a record-shattering $365 million last month( That is the most any presidential candidate has ever raised in a month). Trump and the Republican National Committee, meanwhile, are sitting on $325 million in the bank, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

Just looking at the presidential campaign committees themselves, Biden ended August with nearly $181 million on hand to Trump’s $121 million.

Meanwhile, in August, Biden also outspent Trump more than 2 to 1, $130 million to $61 million — a disparity felt most acutely on TV, when the Trump campaign went dark in several key states.

Trump’s TV ad cutback stunned Republicans last month, but campaign manager Bill Stepien has said he is trying to “carefully manage” the budget of the massive reelection campaign. Despite slashingtelevision spending, Sunday’s Federal Election Commission filings detailing August expenses show Trump spent just as much as he did in July, with digital advertising shooting up, but an opaque financing structure shielding spending from line-item scrutiny.

Trump began the general election against Biden with a nine-figure head start over the Democrat, after the former vice president battled through an expensive primary contest while Trump raised money for years in preparation for 2020. Biden’s record-breaking fundraising pace, especially over the past month, has changed everything, while Trump’s campaign is suddenly watching what it spends.

Trump outspent on TV …

Last month, the Trump campaign significantly reined in its TV advertising, even going off the air at times in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. Biden ended up outspending Trump more than 3-to-1 on TV in August, $69.9 million to $18.8 million, according to Advertising Analytics.

The cuts to Trump’s TV spending reflected a growing fear of a cash crunch for the campaign, as Biden caught up in fundraising. But Trump officials have pushed back on the notion that they’re facing financial problems, pointing to a focus on digital and in-person campaigning, among other things.

… but spending big on the web

Trump had the campaign spending edge on two of the biggest digital ad platforms in August.

The Trump campaign spent more than $13 million advertising on Google alone during two weeks in August, including expensive ads on YouTube’s front page to countermessage the Democratic convention, and it totaled $17 million in August. The Trump campaign spent another $4.4 million on ads through the president’s Facebook page in August, according to the digital giants’ political ad disclosures.

Biden spent $10 million on Google and another $1.5 million on Facebook in August. Biden-aligned fundraising committees made up some of the gap, as groups affiliated with Trump and Biden both spent tens of millions more dollars on the platforms prospecting for online donors and attacking the other side.

Facebook and Google are not the only places to buy online political ads, and the Biden campaign’s FEC report showed $28.7 million in digital ad spending, which could also include some ads booked to run in the future. Trump’s FEC report did not include anything approaching Biden’s online ad number from August.

Events restart, driving up campaign costs

The coronavirus pandemic drove in-person campaign events to a near halt over the spring and summer, but in August, Trump picked up his busy rally schedule again, appearing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. That meant the costs associated with those rallies returned, too.

As Biden’s money builds, GOP super PACs get a fundraising edge over Democrats

While the Trump campaign’s fundraising is sagging, super PACs aligned with the president are ramping up — and outraising their Democratic counterparts.

America First Action, the primary pro-Trump outside group, reported raising $22 million in August, surpassing its totals in previous months this year. America First Action’s biggest donor was Texas energy executive Kelcy Warren, who gave $10 million.

That by itself surpassed the August totals for Priorities USA Action, the pro-Biden super PAC, which raked in $8.5 million. Meanwhile, Unite the Country, another pro-Biden super PAC, raised $2.8 million and is sitting on $6.6 million.

It is evident that money is flowing into the Biden coffers, where it is a little lean for President Trump. Big money is coming from big corporations and tech companies for Biden. Which shows that he is lying about where the tax hikes are going to come from. They certainly would not be donating large sums of money to a candidate that would be increasing their taxes. So you know where the money is going to come from. It is going to come from the middle classes like always. However, it will be too lake by then. With a Biden win in the Executive office and a Democratic win in the Senate, our two party system would essentially be dead. 

Resources:, “Money Tracker: How Much Trump And Biden Have Raised In The 2020 Election,” By Sean McMinn, Alyson Hurt and Ruth Talbot;, “Biden Enters Campaign’s Final Stretch With Cash Advantage Over Trump,” By Tamara Keith and Sean McMinn;, “Biden takes huge cash lead over Trump while outspending him 2 to 1,” By Elena Schneider;


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