Biden’s campaign announced it brought in over $71 million in third-quarter donations, putting his fundraising effort leaps and bounds ahead of Trump’s.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Biden’s third-quarter fundraising cash pile is impressive, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. According to his campaign, he has over $91 million ready to spend, which is “the highest total amassed by any Democratic candidate in history at this point in the cycle.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign raised just over $45 million in third-quarter donations. No other GOP candidate made it past the $20 million mark.
Many pointed out that on top of fewer donations, Trump has to pay his legal team for the extra work they’re doing at the moment. As one person put it, “The difference between Biden and Trump is even greater when you consider most of Trump’s money will be wasted on legal bills.”
Cause for Celebration
Biden’s big campaign budget is giving many a reason to celebrate. “Again and again we hear from people that Biden is a weak candidate that needs to step down/run a primary,” one person said. “Yet he brings in a massive fundraising haul (again) and is outpacing Trump by about 30 million.”
Or Cause for Concern
Others weren’t so happy about the news. “And exactly what is he spending it on?” one person asked. “It truly cannot cost that much to fly around the country and post ads.”
Cost of Doing Business
According to strategists, though, running for president of the U.S.A. is a very expensive endeavor. TV advertisements in battleground states cost a premium, and campaigns last a long time. Candidates often store up funds to make it through the lengthy election cycle.
Several people pointed out the many things $71 million could go towards instead of a political campaign. Others rejected the idea of donations being wasteful, saying they felt donating to campaigns was part of their civic duty and a cornerstone of democracy.
Still Not Okay
As one commenter noted, though, “I, and maybe I’m alone on this one, think it sucks that money is what makes a person win an election, instead of it being based on being a person with integrity, honesty, kindness, who has policies that the voter agrees with.”
Shouldn’t Be This Way
Several others seconded the view. “Our political system is a failure. There just shouldn’t be this much money involved in politics,” one person said.
Where’s It From?
Several commenters asked where the donations came from. They wanted to know if they were grassroots donations from supporters or if they came from corporations and union groups.
One person noted that donation origins are the issue with campaign fundraising. “If anyone thinks money in politics isn’t the #1 issue in our democracy, you’re kidding yourselves,” they said. “That money isn’t just given freely. It’s buying votes.”
Follow the Funds
“Campaign donations come with strings attached,” another person echoed. “And that makes them bribes.” Another brought up the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court case, which granted corporations, nonprofits, and unions more freedom to donate to elections.
Money Isn’t Everything
“Fortunately, the research we have suggests money isn’t what determines who wins an election,” another commenter responded. “The person who spends the most does tend to win, but to say the spending is what won the election is generally swapping cause and effect. They mostly have more money to spend because they are already more popular; the money doesn’t buy them that much. “
It’s Not About the Cash
A few people weren’t surprised or upset that Biden was bringing in big donations, but they were worried about Biden in general. “They’re going to raise a lot of money. That’s a given,” said one person. “I’m more concerned with him staying healthy through the election.”
If Biden Bails
Others worried that Biden wouldn’t ultimately be the nominee. They feared that Vice President Kamala Harris would end up taking his place. If it is Kamala, we might be screwed,” one Biden supported noted. “She doesn’t exactly draw in the crowds, quite the opposite, really.”
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