by Will Weissert and Zeke Miller
POTOMAC, MD ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden’s convoy passed through the crowded streets of Washington evening earlier this week, bound for Maryland Rep. David Tronn’s sprawling estate close to the Potomac River.
Speaking for 14 minutes near a backyard pool amid the smell of barbecue, Biden told nearly 140 people it was important for Democrats to “get what we mean.” He praised the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, noted that the federal deficit and unemployment were falling, while lambasting Republicans as extremists. He also predicted – perhaps hypothetically given his lax approval rating – that Democrats could grab four Senate seats during November’s midterm elections.
But the real purpose of the president’s appearance was to help his party get its message out in what may be more important than anything else: campaign cash.
Biden has raised $7.8 million for Democrats by participating in five in-person fundraisers since March, according to Democratic National Committee data provided to The Associated Press. This includes the $2 million raised in Maryland as well as another $1 million that he pulled two days later when he addressed about 50 people through a Marriott Ballroom in Chicago’s South Loop.
The DNC released information about the amount raised for each event and the number of attendees after questioning the Associated Press why such figures were not disclosed to the pool of journalists fundraising with the president – as Pre-administration usually do.
Other fundraisers include a show in Washington that cost $3 million and featured an intimate audience of about 20. During a West Coast swing last month, Biden attended a large gathering that included supporters of the 2020 campaign in Portland, Oregon, which drew about 110 people and raised more than $300,000. About 30 people were at a more traditional event in Seattle, where the committee raised nearly five times that, or about $1.5 million.
After largely skipping in-person events because of the coronavirus pandemic, the DNC said Biden plans to move his fundraising event past November, when Republicans are hoping to win around America. can bring them back under the control of Congress.
“As President Biden’s personal fundraising events continue to increase in the midterm elections, the DNC will begin releasing additional information on President Biden’s fundraising events,” committee spokesman Daniel Wessel said in a statement.
The DNC did not provide details about the range of prices attendees will pay at each fundraiser, with Biden saying they vary based on the type of event. Some offer donors smaller gatherings with the president, while others are designed to attract larger crowds, allowing for more public interaction, which can include question-and-answer sessions.
The committee also noted that Biden raised funds through channels other than in-person fundraising online, via email, texts and mail signed by the President, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, among other gentlemen. has collected.
During his decades in public office, Biden has never been much of a fundraiser. Even his 2020 campaign failed to rack up big totals until he secured the Democratic presidential nomination – prompting a flood of donations from people desperate to defeat Donald Trump .
The amount Biden has been bringing in per event lately is still respectable, although he hasn’t had an aggressive fundraising program until recently. This is generally in keeping with historic White House norms – but is different from Trump’s push to always keep his campaign coffers well-stocked.
Trump began his re-election effort the same day he was inaugurated in 2017, an unusual move that allowed him to amass a substantial war chest during his first years in office. Federal law allows donors to give up to $36,500 per year to national party committees and $2,900 to individual federal candidates per election, however, and some donors eventually hit legal limits in the waning days of their 2020 campaign.
That, along with the exuberant spending, Trump’s campaign suffered in the closing weeks of the race. In contrast, Biden has yet to launch his election campaign and his fundraising is directed toward the DNC.
Trump held his first reelection fundraiser June 28, 2017 – 40 months before the 2020 election. The $35,000-per-plate dinner was hosted at the Washington Hotel just a few blocks from the White House, which he owned – before selling it this week – for his supporters and influence seekers during his presidency. became a haven.
The Republican National Committee said at the time that the event raised about $10 million. Unlike Biden and former President Barack Obama, Trump usually does not allow journalists to view his public remarks to donors.
The DNC says it has raised a total of $204-plus million for this cycle so far. The committee had the best fundraising ever in the first quarter of the mid-term year, with $42 million raised so far in 2022, with about 60% of all donations coming through grassroots channels.
The DNC has pledged at least $48 million to help Democratic parties in various states improve infrastructure and organize get-out-the-vote efforts — just $30 over its full 2018 midterm strategy After spending a million.
The committee says it has funded approximately 450 employees on state party payroll dedicated to campaigns this cycle, and has invested more than $20 million in state parties’ technology, including improving data efforts.
It also says Biden has made the largest mid-term cash transfers of $15 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is dedicated to the race for Congress, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which focuses on upper house elections. has announced.