Biden Donors Hold Weekend Retreat After Tough Fundraising Quarter


Just hours after the presidential campaign of Joe Biden
received the news that he had finished fourth in the most
recent campaign fundraising numbers
, his top fundraisers and donors holed
up in Philadelphia for the first donor retreat since the former vice president announced his
candidacy in April

The donor retreat, and the resulting
mood among participants
, was reported by The New York Times this weekend.

According to fundraising numbers from the last three months,
Sen. Bernie Sanders out-raised Biden by $25.3 million to $15.2 million, followed
by Warren, who raised $24.6 million, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who brought in
$19.1 million.

Biden’s total haul in the past three months was about $7
million less than the previous quarter’s.

Add to that the rising
poll numbers
of Democratic rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and the relentless
attacks by President Donald Trump
—which include attempting to recruit
foreign governments
to smear Biden and his family—and Biden’s donors might
have plenty to be concerned about.

“All of us realize that Joe Biden does not have the online
fund-raising capability of a Warren. Warren has been doing it longer than him.
Sanders has been doing it longer than him,” Dick Harpootlian, a Biden supporter
from South Carolina, told the Times.

“We need him to get the nomination because he’s the one who
can win,” attendee Denise Bauer, a former ambassador to Belgium, told the
newspaper. “We are all going to try to raise every single dollar we can.”

As Politico pointed out, the latest fundraising reports
represent “a new
reality of presidential politics
: the traditional, big-dollar model of
funding a presidential campaign is going the way of landlines and the VCR.”

That’s a pretty appropriate comparison, given
this profile of Biden and his supporters in Iowa

“The fact that progressives combined to raise $50 million
without one fundraiser is mind-boggling,” Rebecca Katz, a former adviser to
Cynthia Nixon, told Politico. “And really exciting, because they showed there’s
a better way to do this.”

Raising campaign funds this way also frees up more time for
candidates to meet and greet voters and win over supporters. This exposure on
the campaign trail is one of the reasons Warren has been able to boost her
popularity lately. Sanders also has consistently polled among the top three
Democratic contenders.

Per Politico:

…[A]s the campaign accelerates this fall, Warren and Sanders
are poised to compound the effect of their small donors. Unlike contributors
who give the maximum amount at exclusive donor events, small-dollar
contributors can re-up repeatedly.

Biden still sits
atop national poll averages
, although not by much, and Warren is still
tracking up. Sanders has remained consistently competitive, although a medical
emergency this week forced
him to temporarily leave the campaign trail
to recover from a recent heart
attack. He has promised to participate in the Oct. 15 Democratic presidential debate.

It remains to be seen whether Trump’s attacks against
Biden and his family will become problematic for the former vice president over
the long-term, or rather strengthen his support among Democratic voters. We’re
less than four months out from Iowa caucuses.

At this weekend’s retreat, donors heard strategy briefings
and were shown PowerPoint presentations and Biden’s latest ads, according to
the Times.

As to Trump’s attacks, strategist James Carville had the memorable quote: “I think Biden has been given a lifeline here,” he said. “I
hope he takes it.”

the entire report

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