When President Biden traveled to San Francisco last month, he raised more than $10 million in 36 hours from wealthy Democrats. Trips to Chicago and New York netted millions more, as did fund-raising events around Washington, demonstrating that the party’s big donor class is fully committed to Mr. Biden’s re-election campaign.

But the small-dollar online safe that helped Mr. Biden shatter fundraising records during his 2020 presidential campaign hasn’t turned on yet, and there are plenty of signs that it may be months before it does.

The Biden campaign and the Biden Victory Fund, its joint fundraising vehicle, raised $10.2 million from small donors — defined as those who gave $200 or less — during the three-month fundraising period that ended June 30, according to Federal. Election Commission report submitted on Saturday. That figure is approximately half of the $21 million the campaign of President Barack Obama obtained during the same period of his 2012 re-election effort.

Democrats involved with Mr. Biden’s campaign and the world of online fundraising detailed many reasons for Mr. Biden’s relatively low small-dollar figure.

Google and Apple have made it difficult for email senders to see data about who opened requests. Inflation has curbed political donations across the board. Donors are exhausted by the endless stream of emails asking for money, and recipients are responding to far fewer of them.

Currently, Democrats are not as excited as they were in 2018 and 2020, when the presidency of Donald J. Trump opened floodgates of liberal money, or before the 2022 midterms, when the Capitol turmoil, the rise of the no-choice movement and the decision by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade motivated all donors.

And Mr. Biden is not a rebel candidate who encourages students to put posters of him on bedroom walls, as Mr. Obama or Senator Bernie Sanders did in their campaigns. His modest White House and bare-knuckle campaign have not yet motivated supporters to donate furiously to his campaign.

“It’s not a competitive battle every day right now,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul whom Mr. Biden named co-chairman of his campaign. “So these are the most loyal, most devoted believers and supporters. It will build over time.”

Mr. Biden’s campaign highlighted a set of statistics to promote its grassroots donation drive. Nearly a third of its 394,000 donors did not contribute to Mr. Biden in 2020, the campaign said.

Yet the president’s financial reports show he is far more dependent on the wealthiest donors than Mr Trump was in his re-election bid or Mr Biden’s opponents were in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest.

Ten donors, including Mr. Katzenberg, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, and Stewart W. Bainum Jr., the Maryland hotel magnate, gave $500,000 or more to the Biden Victory Fund. Another 82 donors contributed $100,000 or more.

Four years ago, 35 percent of the money raised by Mr. Trump and the two joint committees his campaign formed with the national committee — Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee — came from donors who gave $200 or less. For Mr. Biden, 21 percent of the funds for his campaign and the joint finance committee came from small donors.

Small-dollar contributions are declining across the political spectrum. An analysis by Middle Seat, a digital fundraising firm with a bevy of Democratic clients, found that small donors gave less money during the first fundraising period of 2023 than they had in nearly four years — since early 2019.

“If I were on the Biden team right now, I’d be really happy with the numbers,” said Kenneth Pennington, a partner at Middle Seat. “It’s a terrible fundraising environment, and he’s not launching a new campaign.”

While Mr. Biden’s fundraising total was about equal to the Republican candidates, he outpaced them with small donors. Combined, the GOP candidates raised $7.5 million from small donors to his $10.2 million.

The percentage of contributions of less than $200 is typically at its highest point at the beginning of a campaign and falls as campaigns continue, because when the amount given by an individual donor exceeds $200, it triggers a federal disclosure requirement.

When Mr. Biden began his 2020 campaign for president, 38 percent of the money his campaign raised during the comparable reporting period came from small donors.

Democratic online fundraising experts said they expected the pace of online giving to the Biden campaign to pick up early next year, once voters begin paying more attention to the Republican primary race and the candidate to challenge Mr. Biden emerges.

“Once Democratic donors focus on the Republican primary and what’s at stake in the 2024 election, the Biden campaign will have no problem raising record amounts of money online,” said Lauren Miller, who served as Elizabeth Warren’s campaign digital director for the Senate.

Mr. Trump’s small-dollar percentage cannot be discerned until his joint fund-raising committees, where most of his online requests direct money, reports finance. They don’t have to do that until July 31st.

Financial reports for the other Republican candidates reveal a party that, even more than Mr. Biden, is heavily dependent on big donors.

Among the other Republican candidates, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida reported $2.9 million from small donors, but that figure represents only 14 percent of what his campaign raised. The small-dollar percentages among other candidates ranged from 34 percent for former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to 2 percent for Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, who is largely self-financing his campaign.

Unlike the Obama and Trump campaigns, the Biden campaign did not begin with a digital fundraising team in place. Instead, it relied on the Democratic National Committee for its online requests. The campaign advertised last week that it was looking for a “director of email and SMS” to lead a division that would typically have more than a dozen people. The campaign recently hired a general fundraising director, an official said Saturday.

Mr. Biden’s campaign plowed at least $3.3 million into advertising on Facebook and Google, according to data compiled by Bully Pulpit Interactive, a marketing and communications agency. That figure is far more than any Republican candidate has spent on the platforms and suggests the campaign is investing in its pursuit of small donors.

Two of Mr. Biden’s top advisers, Anita Dunn and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, who are overseeing his White House re-election campaign, this week formally blessed a super PAC, Future Forward, as the primary outlet for large sums of money. of supporting billionaires and multi-millionaires.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *