Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee pulled in a record-shattering $364.5m in August, capitalising on a boost in fundraising surrounding the party’s convention and his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Mr Biden’s campaign said the figures represented “the best month of online fundraising in American political history”, with more than $205m, or 57 per cent of the total, coming from small online donations.

The total sum raised is more than double what Mr Biden and the DNC, or Mr Trump and the Republican National Committee, raised last month. Mr Biden pulled in $140m in July, compared to $165m for Mr Trump.

Presidential candidates in non-pandemic times typically pack their August calendars with fundraising events, with trips to popular holiday destinations such as Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons. In August 2016, for instance, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Mr Donald Trump raised $143m and $90m, respectively.

By contrast, Mr Biden has managed to dwarf past records without attending any in-person fundraisers, instead taking part in events over Zoom, including both smaller virtual gatherings limited to high-net worth donors, and larger virtual gatherings with no minimum suggested donation needed for entry.

The Trump campaign has not yet disclosed how much it and the Republican National Committee raised last month. Shortly after the Biden campaign’s fundraising announcement, it sent out an email urging supporters to open their wallets, warning: “The Liberals are funnelling money to their candidates at an alarming rate to try and take us down.”

READ ALSO  Advertisers strike deal with Facebook and YouTube on harmful content

Both campaigns reported a sharp uptick in fundraising following the party conventions in August, with the Trump campaign reporting it raking in $76m and the Biden campaign bringing in $70m. Mr Biden’s campaign also received an influx of money after adding Kamala Harris to the ticket last month.

Official August fundraising filings must be submitted to the Federal Election Committee by September 20, when they will be released to the public.

The Biden campaign said more than 1.5m Americans had made a donation to its campaign last month for the first time. The campaign now has over 4m donors, with 95 per cent of its donations coming from grassroots supporters.

About 57 per cent of the total raised for Joe Biden’s campaign in August came from small online donations © Alex Wong/Getty

In a statement, Mr Biden said the $365m the campaign raised “blows me away”.

“And we raised it the right way, from people across the country stepping up to own a piece of this campaign, investing in the future we want to see for our kids and grandkids,” he added.

The former Democratic vice-president implored supporters to keep donating in the weeks between now and the November vote, warning that the election was not yet decided.

“We have to keep breaking records if we want to ensure a fighting chance at winning this thing . . . Because we will need every drop of it, and every dollar, to beat Donald Trump,” he said.

At the end of July, Mr Trump’s campaign had $300m cash on hand, while Mr Biden’s had $294m.

Recent polls have suggested the race is tightening as it heads into its final months. A Monmouth University survey released on Wednesday indicated Mr Trump and Mr Biden are now neck and neck in Pennsylvania.

READ ALSO  Inflation & "Socialism-Lite" Are Just What The Billionaires Want

Six weeks ago Mr Biden led Mr Trump in the state 53 per cent to 40 per cent among registered voters. He is now ahead by just 49 per cent to 45 per cent, putting his lead within the poll’s margin of error.

Trump vs Biden: who is leading the 2020 election polls?

Use the FT’s interactive calculator to see which states matter most in winning the presidency

Via Financial Times