Joe Biden told supporters at a Manhattan fundraiser Monday night that his presidential campaign has raised money from 360,000 donors, with an average contribution of $55 – figures that suggest he has amassed nearly $20 million so far.
If so, the former vice president’s haul would eclipse that of any of the other Democratic White House hopefuls in the first quarter of the year, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who reported taking in $18.2 million from about 500,000 donors. Sanders also reported another $2.5 million in transfers from previous campaigns.
It is unclear whether the Biden campaign intended to release his figures publicly. Typically, campaigns wait until the close of the quarter to announce their fundraising tallies. There are still 12 days left in the fundraising quarter, which ends June 30. The Federal Election Commission will make candidate filings public on July 15.
The figures shared by Biden on Monday night provide an early glimpse into his fundraising prowess since he entered the campaign on April 25, which was past the first campaign fundraising disclosure deadline and later than many rivals.
Biden’s campaign announced it had raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after he entered the race, the largest take among the candidates. Biden’s efforts were boosted by a large-dollar fundraiser on the first day of the campaign, as well as Facebook ads that were targeted at generating first-day donations.
Biden shared his updated numbers at the end of remarks at the Upper East Side home of Jim Chanos, president and founder of Kynikos Associates, a prominent short-selling investment firm.
Biden told supporters that their contributions have “allowed me to be able to compete in a way that I’ve never been able to before.”
“We’ve raised a great deal of money,” he said.
He added that supporters were vouching for him by writing him a check, “which is essentially saying: ‘I respect this person. I think this person will do a good job.'”
His campaign declined to comment further Monday evening.
The fundraiser in Chanos’s penthouse apartment was attended by about 180 guests, who mingled, sipped wine and chatted on an adjoining outdoor terrace.
In addition to Biden and Sanders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are expected to post high figures in the second quarter – an important deadline that will provide an indication of which of the nearly two dozen candidates have risen to the top, and which ones are rapidly spending their money as they raise it.
Later Monday night, another of Biden’s Democratic rivals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took an apparent dig at him, writing on Twitter: “I don’t spend time at fancy fundraisers. Instead, I spend my time meeting voters and thanking grassroots donors who chip in what they can. Donate $3 to my campaign, and you might just get a call from me to thank you!”