vision 2020

Biden Has a Meh Fundraising Quarter

The former veep’s not hurting for money, but he’s not crushing it, either. Photo: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fundraising numbers for the third quarter, which ended on September 30, won’t be reported by the Federal Election Commission until after the October 15 reporting deadline. So we’re learning about money hauls from the campaigns themselves, and it’s something of a chess match as to who announces what and when.

Clearly Bernie Sanders’s campaign was excited to announce his boffo $25.3 million quarter, whether or not it had any inkling that the candidate was about to be hospitalized. Pete Buttigieg too had to be pleased with his $19.1 million raised. Even though it fell short of the $24.9 million he brought in during the second quarter, it was still very good for a candidate who’s not in the top three in national and early-state polls. Andrew Yang should be proud of the $10 million he raised; he’s definitely outperforming expectations and the polls once again. Cory Booker professed to be happy with his $6 million-and-change totals, after he told supporters he might have to fold his tent if they didn’t cough up some more dough. And given her campaign’s recent struggles, Kamala Harris could express quiet satisfaction with raising $11.6 million, just short of her second-quarter contributions.

Another number dropped today, for the candidate perceived to have been the front-runner for most of the cycle, Joe Biden, and it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off: He raised $15 million, or so he said at a fundraising event (his campaign may have been surprised he had said that and initially declined to comment before confirming the number as $15.2 million). That’s not quite like the $22 million he reported in the previous quarter, except for the fact that he again trailed Mayor Pete. Looking at it from another angle, Biden still did 50 percent better than Yang, but I’m guessing the leader of the Gang has a much slimmer payroll to meet.

Biden’s fundraising totals will fully be placed in perspective only when Elizabeth Warren, for whom nearly everything has been coming up roses, reports her third-quarter numbers. Her heavy-on-field-staff campaign has been fueled by the $10 million she was able to transfer from her Senate campaign account and then a solid $19.2 million second quarter. If she moves ahead of Biden in fundraising now, much as she has been moving ahead of, or at least toward him, in polls, it could be significant, particularly since she has been much choosier in how and from whom she raises money. (We’ll probably have to await the FEC reports to find out details like each campaign’s cash on hand, too.)

Biden’s clearly not going to have to tell his staff to work without pay anytime soon, but, as in many other respects, he’s a presidential candidate flying around without much of a net.

Biden Has a Meh Fundraising Quarter