Biden raises $5.3M in online donations in October

Biden raises $5.3M in online donations in October
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Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits 'radical left,' news media, China in Independence Day address Kaepernick on July Fourth: 'We reject your celebration of white supremacy' Jaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham MORE’s presidential campaign announced Friday that it raised $5.3 million in online donations last month as the former vice president seeks to reassure voters as to the vitality of his White House bid.

“Folks, we can’t thank you enough for your support," the campaign said in an email to supporters, noting that October was its best online fundraising month since its launch. "We know with you on our side, we are going to win this nomination and defeat Donald Trump."

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The campaign confirmed to The Hill that it had 182,000 online donations last month, the most since its launch, and that the average contribution was $28.29.

The fundraising boost comes amid Democratic hand-wringing over the Biden campaign’s finances — while it reported a $15.2 million haul in the third quarter of 2019, that total fell millions of dollars behind the third-quarter hauls of Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.).

The former vice president also finished the third quarter with just under $9 million cash on hand, while Sanders, Warren, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham Senators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter MORE (D-Calif.) had $33.7 million, $25.7 million, $23.4 million and $10.5 million, respectively.

The fundraising concerns coincided with a slip in the polls, which was exacerbated as Warren surged in national and early state polls. However, Biden still leads in many surveys, and has a 5.4-point edge in the RealClearPolitics polling index.

The campaign sent out an appeal to supporters in the middle of October, saying it was “worried” about its amount of cash on hand. 

“The first votes will be cast in this primary starting February 3, 2020 — just over 100 days from now — and we need to be fueling our grassroots efforts in crucial states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina,” Elana Firsht, the Biden campaign’s online fundraising director, said in a frank fundraising email to supporters. “We can’t afford to fall behind, so I’m asking you to step up now and make a donation to fuel our campaign.” 

The campaign Friday indicated that it is comfortable with where it stands in the money race, saying it posted smaller figures than some competitors because it had spent funds on building out critical infrastructure.

“We knew we were going to have to spend money and we were comfortable with that,” Pete Kavanaugh, Biden's deputy campaign manager, told The Associated Press. “You always want more money. But we believe we had made the right decision. We’d rather end with $9 million on hand than not make those investments.”

Kavanaugh also pointed to President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE's sustained attacks on Biden over unfounded corruption allegations regarding his dealings with Ukraine and the House’s new impeachment investigation as sparking support for the former vice president.

“All of the Trump attacks have started to catalyze. More people understand what is at stake,” Kavanaugh told the AP. “People out there are seeing Joe Biden getting attacked day after day. They understand he needs to fight back.”

“Right around the time the Ukraine stuff broke wide open and [Trump] made clear that he and the [Republican National Committee] were going to spend money attacking Biden — that’s when you see this start to change,” he added. “It got people to snap to attention.”

Biden faced criticism from his opponents last month after his campaign signaled openness to using a super PAC to boost his 2020 bid.

The use of super PACs has become a contentious issue within the Democratic presidential primary, Warren and Sanders vowing not to work with the PACs.