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Biden Raised More Money In One Month Than Any Presidential Candidate — Ever

Political strategists point to the latest eye-popping numbers from September as evidence of widespread enthusiasm among Democrats and their supporters heading into the final weeks of the election.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gestures during a campaign stop outside Johnstown Train Station September 30, 2020 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gestures during a campaign stop outside Johnstown Train Station September 30, 2020 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Biden campaign broke all previous presidential candidate fundraising records in September, with a historic $383 million haul. The former vice president had already set a new record in August with $365 million raised.

September included the first presidential debate on the last day of the month, during which Biden broke a single-hour fundraising record.

Prior to August and September of this year, the monthly fundraising record for a single presidential candidate was set by Barack Obama in September 2008, according to Reuters. Obama raised $193 million in one month then; The New York Times described it as what is “believed to be the previously monthly record,” as “there is no formal record-keeping.” 

Political strategists point to the eye-popping numbers as evidence of widespread enthusiasm among Democrats and their supporters heading into the final weeks of the election. At least 17.5 million Americans have already cast their ballots as of Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Elections Project. Midnight yesterday marked the last FEC public fundraising deadline before voting concludes on November 3, so both campaigns and parties have spent much of this week making their closing arguments for such donations

Biden’s deputy digital director tweeted in September that the campaign had sold so many Biden-Harris yard signs that they had to open a new fulfillment center.

Democrats set fundraising records in congressional races, too

While the Biden campaign is setting records for presidential candidates, Democrats running for the Senate and the House of Representatives are also enjoying a financial advantage in 2020.

Jaime Harrison, the Democrat running against Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, recently set his own all-time fundraising record for Senate candidates, raking in $57 million in one quarter.

Harrison is remarkably far ahead of the pack, but he’s certainly not alone:

Democrats running for the House are also seeing impressive numbers. Rep. Katie Porter of California, who has become well-known for taking wealthy corporate executives to task with her trusty whiteboard in congressional hearings, has raised so much that she has enough to share with other Democrats.

Adam Jentleson, a Democratic strategist and former chief of staff for Harry Reid, called Porter an “exponential force” and said she “is smashing the myth that you have to be a centrist, corporate-friendly lawmaker if you represent a red district. She’s unapologetically and boldly progressive. Decisions to be corporate friendly tend to be more about member preference than political necessity.”

The state of Trump vs. Biden in the final weeks of the 2020 election

President Trump’s re-election campaign has yet to announce its September numbers. In August, Trump and the Republican Party raised $210 million compared to Democrats’ $365 million.

CNN political reporter Dan Merica noted Wednesday that “Biden, in the span of a few months, has closed the fundraising gap with Trump and now enjoys a substantial advantage.”

Business Insider published a story Tuesday about how the Trump campaign “almost went broke” after former campaign manager Brad Parscale “spent big with plans for a $200-million cash surge this month.”

Insider DC correspondent Tom LoBianco tweeted that Parscale “had been planning for campaign contributions to almost double in October,” and that “it would have been $200 million more than the campaign pulled in for a regular month, a Republican close to the president said.”

Under Parscale, the Trump campaign mismanaged hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a New York Times report in September, and the president had reportedly considered putting some of his own money into the race.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon tweeted her thoughts on the latest record on Thursday, thanking the many millions of donors but also cautioning that the race may still be a close one.

O’Malley Dillon is hosting a “Grassroots Summit” on Friday to explain to supporters how the campaign is using the record amounts of money in the final weeks before voting concludes.

Since the Biden campaign seems flush with cash, progressive activists are also asking people to turn their attention to down-ballot legislative races.