Biden raises $6.3M in first 24 hours after campaign launch

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders exits, clearing Biden's path to nomination Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report Sanders exit leaves deep disappointment on left MORE raised $6.3 million in the 24 hours after launching his 2020 White House bid, his campaign announced Friday, a record fundraising haul in the crowded Democratic presidential field.

Biden, who entered the Democratic primary contest on Thursday among its frontrunners, received 107,431 online donations from 96,926 individual donors across 50 states, with an average contribution size of $41, his campaign said.

The massive fundraising haul surpassed the previous record set by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who raked in $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid last month. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump says Obama knows 'something that you don't know' about Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders exits, clearing Biden's path to nomination Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report MORE (I-Vt.) also raised $5.9 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign launch in February. 

The total for Biden signals that despite months of delaying a presidential announcement, he enters the race with a strong ability to raise crucial campaign cash.

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“We are incredibly heartened by the energy and enthusiasm displayed throughout the country for Joe Biden,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and and communications director, said in a statement.

“It is crystal clear from the last 24 hours that Americans are ready for dignified leadership, someone who can restore the soul of the nation, rebuild the middle class so everyone gets a fair shot and unite the country behind the core values we all believe in,” she added. “That person is Joe Biden, and today’s announcement demonstrates Americans agree.”

The fundraising numbers released by Biden’s campaign on Friday also suggest that the former vice president will likely be competitive in the race among candidates to win over small-dollar donors. Ninety-seven percent of online donations to Biden’s campaign were under $200, the campaign said.

While Biden's 24-hour fundraising total may have been the most of any Democratic candidate so far, Sanders outpaced him in the total number of donors, gathering contributions from roughly 223,000 individuals in his first day on the campaign trail.

Other presidential contenders reported strong 24-hour fundraising totals of their own, including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOn The Money: Mnuchin, Schumer in talks to strike short-term relief deal | Small businesses struggling for loans | Treasury IG sends Dems report on handling of Trump tax returns Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report Michael Bennet endorses Biden for president MORE (D-Calif.), who brought in $1.5 million in her first 24 hours as a presidential candidate.

Unlike many of his opponents, who have focused heavily on gathering small-dollar donations, Biden is expected to also lean heavily on a cadre of high-dollar donors and fundraisers to power his presidential bid.

On Thursday, hours after he announced his 2020 campaign, Biden appeared at a fundraiser at the home of Comcast executive David Cohen in Pennsylvania that also included Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats propose ,000 hazard-pay plan for essential workers Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Democratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers MORE (D-Pa.), former Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D).

Still, Biden has followed the lead of other 2020 hopefuls by swearing off campaign cash from corporate political action committees and contributions from federal lobbyists.

The staggering first-day fundraising haul is likely to quell concerns among some Biden allies that the former vice president was starting his campaign at a fundraising disadvantage, because of his relatively late entrance into the race and his years-long absence form electoral politics.

He still has the same donor and email lists that helped his 2008 and 2012 tickets with former President Obama rake in cash. But Biden’s campaign said Friday that 61 percent of the total money raised came from new donors who did not originate from existing email lists.

Several other 2020 hopefuls, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Mnuchin, Schumer in talks to strike short-term relief deal | Small businesses struggling for loans | Treasury IG sends Dems report on handling of Trump tax returns Trump says Obama knows 'something that you don't know' about Biden Senators push for changes to small business aid MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandFormer Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report States battle each other for equipment in supply chain crunch The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight MORE (D-N.Y.), had millions of dollars left in their Senate campaign accounts that they were able to transfer into their presidential operations. Biden, who hasn’t been on a ballot since 2012, did not have such money waiting in the wings.

Biden entered the presidential race on Thursday, with his campaign releasing a video message of the former vice president saying that the country cannot afford another four years of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE.