US elections: Biden, Democratic allies raise $264 million in second quarter

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US President Joe Biden’s campaign and its Democratic allies raised $264 million in the second quarter, including $127 million in June and a record “grassroots” fundraising haul on the day of Biden’s disastrous debate against Donald Trump, Biden’s campaign said.

The Democratic president’s re-election effort has $240 million in cash on hand, the campaign said.

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Biden’s team is eager to show fundraising strength after the president’s poor debate performance, which prompted calls from some Democrats for him to step aside as the party’s presidential candidate.

Biden’s team held difficult phone calls on Sunday and Monday with important campaign funders who questioned whether the 81-year-old Democrat should stay in the presidential race after his poor debate performance.

Thursday was the best day of fundraising from small-dollar donors of the campaign, followed by Friday, when concern about the debate was causing waves of panic through Democratic circles.

“Our Q2 fundraising haul is a testament to the committed and growing base of supporters standing firmly behind the President and Vice President and clear evidence that our voters understand the choice in this election between President Biden fighting for the American people and Donald Trump fighting for himself as a convicted felon,” Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

In the second quarter, 95 percent of donations were under $200, a point the campaign underscored to portray broad support from average Americans instead of over-reliance on high-dollar, wealthy donors.

The total fundraising figures include donations to the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and joint fundraising committees.

The re-election effort was spending the money on more than 200 campaign offices and more than 1,000 staff in political battleground states that Biden needs to win to prevail over Trump, a Republican, in November.

Trump has also been bringing in sizable donations. His campaign and the Republican National Committee said last month they had raised $141 million in May, nearly doubling the prior month’s haul thanks to a flood of support following his conviction in a hush money trial.

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