Joe Biden touted fundraising figures on Monday that suggest he has taken in at least $19 million this quarter, a sum that — if true — would top what all of his leading rivals raised during the last period.
With nearly two weeks to go before the end of the second quarter, the former vice president told attendees at a New York fundraiser that he's accepted contributions from 360,000 donors, who gave an average of $55 apiece.
The math suggests Biden collected about $19.8 million. Multiple people in Biden's campaign declined to confirm on Tuesday how much he has raised since entering the race in April.
But the figure is sure to draw notice from rival campaigns, who are preparing for next week's debates while furiously trying to raise money before the pivotal second quarter draws to a close. Those numbers, which will be made public July 15, will be an indicator of which candidates in the crowded 2020 primary will have the resources to last. They will also reveal who is on track to reach the fundraising thresholds set by the Democratic National Committee to qualify for the next round of debates.
“With your help, you're going to allow me to be able to compete in a way that I've never been able to do before,” Biden told donors gathered at the home of billionaire Wall Street financier James Chanos. “We've raised a great deal of money.
Biden's fundraising tease follows news that rival Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, raised $7 million in the month of April alone.
Biden and Buttigieg have often found themselves courting the same donors and have sometimes been on fundraising swings in the same states at the same time. While many Democrats in the 2020 primary field have sought to distance themselves from big money in politics, both have embraced them, giving the glimmer of a campaign cash arms race.
Biden has been in New York for a series of fundraisers this week, including the Monday event that was hosted by Chanos.
After the Democratic debates in Miami next week, Biden is slated to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area for a series of fundraisers hosted by donors with ties to Silicon Valley. That includes an event that will be held at the Los Altos home of former Twitter executive Katie Jacobs Stanton, as well as one in San Francisco hosted by tech industry veteran Doug Hickey, according to a person with direct knowledge of the events. The person requested anonymity to discuss private planning details.
Buttigieg was also supposed to be in New York before heading to California for a star-studded fundraising swing that included an event hosted by TV producer and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy. Musician Katy Perry and actor Orlando Bloom were expected to attend other events. But Buttigieg has put those plans on hold for several days after a South Bend police officer shot and killed an African American man early Sunday.
If Biden has indeed raised $19.8 million, he would best what his top rivals raised last quarter, which was before he jumped in the race.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led the Democratic primary field last quarter, taking in over $18 million, followed by California Sen. Kamala Harris who raised $12 million and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke who reported $9.3 million.