Biden rakes in $22.7 million in fourth quarter of 2019

Biden rakes in $22.7 million in fourth quarter of 2019
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE announced on Thursday that he raised $22.7 million for his presidential bid in the last three months of 2019, a sum that marks the largest quarterly total for his campaign to date.

"I'm excited to share that we raised $22.7 million this last quarter — our biggest quarter so far this campaign!" Biden tweeted. "Thank you to everyone who chipped in what you could — your support means the world to me. You truly are the heart of our campaign." 

Online donations to Biden’s campaign doubled in the final fundraising period of 2019, and he finished the year with an average overall contribution size of $43.

Biden’s fourth-quarter fundraising haul is his largest since launching his campaign in April, narrowly surpassing the amount he raised in his first months on the campaign trail, and could help to steady some lingering concerns about the financial viability of his presidential bid.

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But Biden is still trailing other candidates in fundraising, which could both reflect stronger grassroots support for candidates, and be a factor as campaigns make spending decisions during the primary season.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Candidates weighing using private jets to get to Iowa Biden nabs endorsement from Iowa Democrat in swing district MORE is expected to report raising $24.7 million in the fourth quarter and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) will report more than $34.5 million raised.

Biden is widely seen as the front-runner in the Democratic race given his higher position in national polls. He's proven durable in the face of campaign trail stumbles, concerns about age – he’s 77 – and regular criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE.

Biden raised $15.7 million in the third quarter of 2019, putting him among the top fundraisers in the Democratic presidential primary field. But the third quarter also flashed warning signs for Biden. He burned through more money than he was able to take in and finished the period with less than $9 million on hand.

It’s not yet clear how much money Biden spent or how much cash on hand he will report when fourth-quarter federal filings are made public later this month.

Biden’s campaign manager Greg Schultz said that Trump’s attacks were partly responsible for driving the former vice president’s fundraising surge in the fourth quarter. The House voted last month to impeach Trump on charges related to his efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden and his family.

“Trump does not want Biden to be the nominee because he knows Biden will flat out beat him in November,” Schultz wrote in a memo to Biden’s supporters on Thursday. “He is so desperate to avoid the electoral defeat he would face against Biden that he got himself impeached soliciting a foreign government in the effort. During impeachment our average digital revenue per day more than doubled, up by 121%, where it was in the weeks preceding impeachment.”

Schultz acknowledged, however, that the coming weeks would be among the most expensive yet for the campaign. The Iowa caucuses are just a month away and will be followed by high-profile nominating contests in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

“Though we’re grateful for the work over the last three months, we’re only now entering the campaign’s most crucial stretch,” Schultz wrote. “There’s little doubt that Vice President Biden enters 2020 with wind in his sails, but our resource needs will only continue to grow. The next eight weeks of the campaign will be the most expensive weeks of the primary due to the heavy staff investment in the early four states and aggressive efforts aimed at Super Tuesday.”