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Trump Has Eliminated Biden’s Campaign Cash Advantage

For the first time this year, Trump has more resources than Biden.

Donald Trump Hosts Caucus Night Watch Party In Las Vegas
Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama

When Donald Trump agreed to host a reality show in which he would judge the business acumen of its contestants, it was more than fitting that the O’Jays’ 1973 soul-funk hit “For the Love of Money” was the program’s theme song. Twenty years after the first episode of “The Apprentice,” Trump has already served one term as America’s president and is looking for his second. As is President Joe Biden. For the two presidents squaring off this November, “money, money, money” is top of mind: “Some people got to have it / Some people really need it.”

In March, Biden and the Democratic National Committee had a massive $100 million cash advantage over Trump and the Republican National Committee. In two short, action-packed months, Trump has not only erased the deficit, but gained a fundraising edge. Trump and the RNC had $235 million on hand at the beginning of June, while Biden and the DNC had $212 million. And more financial gifts continue to flow into Trump’s coffers in the wake of a May 30 conviction by a New York jury in the hush-money case.

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Trump and the RNC’s financial outlook was dire in the first quarter of the calendar year. With four major criminal trials against the former president, Democrats’ ‘get Trump, again’ strategy was intended to render death by a thousand cuts. Legal expenses incurred from the cases were bleeding the Trump apparatus dry, although developments in each of these cases—indictments, mugshots—provided the campaign temporary funding booms.

Trump’s fortunes started to change in April, when Trump outraised Biden for the first time this year. Trump and the RNC brought in $76 million to Biden and the DNC’s $51 million. Racking up a $25 million funding advantage in one month was impressive, and a sign of things to come. Nevertheless, despite Trump’s green April, Biden and the Democrats’ war chest remained much bigger.

In May, however, Trump’s operation more than doubled the previous month’s surplus over the Biden campaign, raking in $141 million to Biden’s $85 million—a $56 million advantage for Trump and the GOP. In the 24 hours following Trump’s conviction in New York on May 30, the Trump campaign claimed to have raised $53 million.

Trump also garnered the support of the biggest donor this election cycle. Tim Mellon, the great-grandson of banker Thomas Mellon and grandson of former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, donated $50 million to a Trump super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., following the verdict. Mellon has donated $110 million in the 2024 election cycle. A number of other wealthy donors came to Trump’s aid after the verdict as well.

And that might not be the last of the surge. Because Trump was convicted on May 30, some of the fundraising boom carried into June. By the evening of June 1, the Trump campaign claimed it had raised $70 million since Trump’s conviction.

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Meanwhile, Biden has started dipping into his war chest for ad buys. Since the new year, Biden’s campaign apparatus has spent over $35 million on airing or reserving ad slots in six battleground states. Trump, however, has spent just $60,000 on ad buys in the same states. Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, doesn’t mind the disparity because he thinks TV ads are ineffective, the New York Times reported.

“President Trump’s record-breaking fund-raising numbers prove Crooked Joe Biden’s witch hunts against President Trump, skyrocketing inflation, and the illegal border invasion have united the American people around the fact that another four years of Biden will mean the end of our country,” Cheung told the Times.

With Biden spending in battleground states and Trump posting massive fundraising hauls, the GOP has taken a slight cash advantage. At the beginning of June, Trump’s campaign had $116.5 million cash on hand, but Biden’s campaign had only $91.6 million.

It remains to be seen whether the disparity will endure. Biden, of course, has his own batch of billionaires. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that former New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has donated nearly $20 million to Biden’s reelection effort.