Biden raises more than potential GOP challengers in 3rd quarter, while Trump leads GOP field in fundraising


President Joe Biden’s fundraising haul from July through September easily surpassed all his potential GOP rivals, according to campaign finance data from presidential campaigns made public Sunday. Former President Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP field of presidential candidates, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley trailing.

Here’s a rundown of what the candidates raised in the quarter, according to data from the Federal Elections Commission.

Joe Biden

Mr. Biden’s reelection campaign, joint fundraising committees and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $71 million in the third quarter, and have a collective of $91 million cash on hand. The haul is slightly less than what the same entities raised in the second quarter, but aides cite increasing enthusiasm among smaller-dollar donors giving $200 or less. These donations constituted about 49% of the third quarter totals, compared to only about a third of donations in the second quarter.

His fundraising was 1.6 times higher than Trump’s, and close to five times DeSantis’ fundraising. Biden’s committees spent over $56 million as the incumbent candidate ramps up his reelection bid by hiring more staff and buying advertising time on broadcast and cable television and digital media platforms.

Donald Trump

Trump’s fundraising momentum has picked up: his campaign raised $24.5 million between July and September, topping the $17.7 million he raised in the second quarter, and $14.4 million in the first quarter. 

Trump ended September with over $37.5 million cash on hand, which is seven times what DeSantis has and around triple what Haley and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott have available. 

The fundraising numbers published Sunday by Trump are lower than the $45.5 million that the campaign said his joint fundraising committee raised, signaling that the fundraising mechanism, which raises money for Trump’s official campaign and Save America PAC, could be spending significantly. Official joint fundraising committee numbers are required to be filed semiannually, with the next deadline in January 2024.

Trump’s ongoing legal battles, including two federal and two state indictments, have benefited his campaign fundraising, while his legal bills mount.

According to a CBS News analysis of Sunday’s filings, the campaign raised over $2 million in the first 48 hours after Trump’s mug shot from the Fulton County, Georgia, jail was released. The campaign sold merchandise featuring the mugshot. He faces charges there and in federal court related to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

His campaign raised over $770,000 on August 1, the day Trump was indicted in Washington, D.C., on federal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. Trump has denied all of the charges against him in these cases. 

Ron DeSantis

DeSantis’ campaign reported raising $15.1 million, with the money coming through his campaign committee ($8.93 million) and his joint fundraising committee ($6.18 million). 

But DeSantis spent nearly all of what was raised, with a reported $10.6 million on “operating expenditures” spent by the campaign over the third quarter. Travel and payroll ate up $3.4 million of that. 

His campaign also reported $12.3 million cash on hand going into October, but only $5 million may be used in the primary because of individual limits on donations. Some donors gave the maximum for the primary and general combined, but only the funds earmarked for the primary can be spent before the general election campaign. DeSantis’ campaign says his cash on hand is not impacted by the $1 million in payments still due to vendors for direct mail services. 

After DeSantis’ campaign laid off staff in July to cut spending, promising big donors a “leaner, meaner” operation, it spent just under $4 million in August, a savings of $2 million from July. In September, DeSantis spent just $1.4 million, according to a CBS News analysis of his campaign committee’s filing. 

DeSantis spent over $1.5 million to private jet companies last quarter, though only one company, “Israjets,” received a payment for travel in September. 

September was DeSantis’ strongest fundraising month. He picked up $5.6 million, with $2.3 million in the days around the second GOP debate. 

Small dollar donations (those $200 and less) made up just 28% of DeSantis’ total contributions to his campaign, notably less than Trump who relies heavily on grassroots small-dollar donations.

Nikki Haley

Haley’s campaign has picked up fundraising momentum after two strong debates and some improved polling. She hauled in $8.2 million between July and September and acquired nearly 40,000 new donors.

She ranks fourth among her GOP competitors in cash in hand, with $11.5 million, and ranks third with money available to spend on the 2024 primary with over $9.1 million.

This is her strongest fundraising quarter, and Haley also kept operations lean, spending just $3.5 million between July and September, far less than some of her rivals,  including Scott, who spent almost $7.8 million more than he raised. 

Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Haley spokeswoman,said Haley “is surging and emerging as the alternative to Trump.”

Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence is facing significant challenges in fundraising for his presidential campaign. He raised $3.3 million in the third quarter, but his cash on hand is only $1.2 million, and he’s facing a substantial debt — about $620,000. His personal $150,000 contribution to his campaign further highlights his campaign’s financial shortfall.

His FEC filing also revealed that Pence owes money to two companies based in Virginia, related to direct-mail consulting and postage expenses. His campaign has relied heavily on mail to reach enough voters to qualify for the Republican debates. 

Candidates must prove they’ve secured at least 70,000 individual donations to qualify for the third Republican debate, which takes place Nov. 8, in Miami. His campaign has not yet confirmed whether he has met the requirements.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy raised nearly $7.5 million from July through September, and a campaign official told CBS News that over 120,000 of his donations came from small donors – 40% of whom were first time donors to a Republican candidate. 

The Ohio multimillionaire said, “That’s how we roll,” when told he had more small donors than DeSantis in the third quarter.

His campaign spent over $12 million, leaving him with about  $4 million in cash on hand. 

According to his filing, Ramaswamy donated more than $1 million to his campaign, compared to the $750,461 he donated during the first two quarters, total. He had previously loaned his campaign more than $15 million. 

Tim Scott

Scott raised about $5.9 million across entities and burned through about $12.4 million in the third quarter. He has the most available cash on hand besides Trump — $13.3 million — in part due to successful fundraising during his 2022 reelection campaign.

He has $927,827 in debt, according to documents filed on Sunday. His campaign says it’s fully funded through the early-voting states. “This campaign is built for the long-haul,” it said, and adds that he’s met the fundraising threshold for the third debate.

The campaign also responded to the recent decision of the super PAC backing Scott to cancel $40 million in TV ads ahead of the Iowa caucuses, noting that it has already spent $14 million in TV reservations through November.

Chris Christie

Christie brought it an estimated $3.7 million and spent $1.5 million between July 1 and October 30. The former New Jersey governor ended the third quarter with $3.9 million cash on hand and no debt. According to his campaign, all of his available cash can be used for the primary.

Christie’s burn rate this quarter was about 40%. The campaign attributes this to it not spending money on TV ads or internal polling and keeping the team small, with about 15 people who take on various roles and work remotely or in the field.

Ahead of Sunday’s filing, Christie posted, “Our team is lean and mean, and we’re going to do what it takes to continue taking on Trump and expose his lies across the country.” He urged donors to help him reach the unique donor threshold to make the third debate.

Candidates need 70,000 individual donors to participate in the third GOP debate.

Doug Burgum

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum reported raising $3.4 million in the third quarter and has $2.3 million cash on hand. 

Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson raised $667, 781 and reported having $325,287 in cash on hand and has $720,172 in debt, according to his FEC filing for the quarter.

Both Hutchinson and Burgum are struggling to qualify for the third GOP presidential debate, which has the highest polling and donor thresholds so far. 

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