Former Vice President Joe Biden’s fundraising efforts dropped significantly in the third quarter of this year amid mounting concerns over his viability as a candidate.
Biden’s campaign announced on Thursday it only raised $15.2 million in the third quarter, significantly less than expected. The sum was less than what was raised by competitors polling below Biden, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who raised $25.3 million and $19.1 million, respectively, in the same period.
Although Biden’s total was also less than the $21.5 million he raised in the second quarter, his campaign attempted to put a positive spin on the fundraising numbers. In a statement provided to the press announcing the fundraising haul, Biden’s team claimed that “98 percent of all donations were from grassroots donors” and 56 percent of all contributors were new.
“Today’s fundraising totals put the campaign in a strong position as we enter the fall. The question any campaign faces at this point is whether or not you have the resources to compete in early states and sustain your efforts beyond,” said Greg Schultz, the former vice president’s campaign manager. “Our campaign unequivocally does and builds on our strength each week.”
Despite the campaign’s positive spin, the fundraising numbers underscore Biden’s declining position in the 2020 contest. When the former vice president first announced his campaign in late April, he was seen as the frontrunner for the nomination, a fact confirmed by his domination in the polls and strong fundraising. Since that time, however, Biden’s campaign has been battered by persistent gaffes and ethical questions surrounding his son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.
All of this has impacted the former vice president’s standing with the Democrat electorate. A slew of recent polls has shown Biden either trailing or tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in the first three early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada. Likewise, Biden has lost his advantage nationally, trailing Warren by as many as six percentage points in a recent survey conducted for the Economist.