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Biden's Fundraising Operation Has Tanked

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

When it comes to the Biden team's efforts to continue funding his reelection efforts, the headline from CNBC this week sums it up in stark terms. "No one is picking up the phone." Up until Biden's calamitous debate against Donald Trump, he had been performing impressively in terms of fundraising despite the polls being fairly close. He managed to outraise Trump in multiple consecutive cycles. That started to change in two stages. The first came when Trump was convicted in New York City by a kangaroo court. Biden didn't suddenly take in less money, but the donations flowing to Trump exploded. Phase two arrived a few days after the debate debacle. Biden fell behind for the first time this year while Donald Trump continued to plow ahead. And now, some of Scranton Joe's traditionally reliable fundraisers are refusing to open their checkbooks unless he drops out of the race.

President Joe Biden's fundraising operation started showing cracks in it's once formidable armor, almost 10 days after his disastrous presidential debate performance.

Some of Biden's campaign bundlers have stopped making calls to potential donors since the June 27 debate, according to people familiar with the matter.

"No one is picking up the phone," said a well-connected Democratic fundraiser, who raises money for Biden and the Democratic Party. These people were granted anonymity in order to speak openly about private conversations on a sensitive topic.

A number of Biden's wealthy bundlers, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that they have either scaled back or completely curtailed their efforts to dredge up more large checks from people in their personal networks. Some said their calls went unanswered while others reported receiving "furious" responses, demanding to know why they should essentially flush more money into a potentially sinking ship. That's a bad sign for any political campaign, but it's particularly devastating for a presidential race where campaigns burn through billions of dollars in a short period of time.

Some donors may still be willing to contribute but said they are taking a wait-and-see approach. Joe Biden is still insisting that he will stay in the race, but the delegates at the convention may have other ideas. He might also change his mind before then if the pressure to withdraw grows too great. In either event, the donors know that if Biden winds up not being the nominee and the honor passes to anyone other than Kamala Harris, their money will essentially be left in limbo. 

Democratic strategist James Carville just published an op-ed this week titled, "Joe Biden Can't Win." He offers a strategy to get a replacement candidate over the finish line and it's probably not going to be the Vice President. That makes the fundraising situation for the Democrats appear even more dire. Not only would all of Biden's remaining war chest be sitting idle, but the new candidate would be essentially starting from scratch with only a few months to go. They would need to be badgering traditional donors to cut fat checks for an untested presidential campaign while the political betting markets are all showing Donald Trump to increasingly be the odds-on favorite. That would be a tough sell no matter how you try to spin a rosy picture for the left.

One major Biden donor, Stewart Bainum Jr., the chairman of Choice Hotels, insists that the Democrats need to try something, but he believes that Biden needs to drop out of the race now to make room for someone with some legs. He promised to "help the nominee- whoever that is- after the convention." But he insisted that he won't be doing any more fundraising until a new candidate has been identified and officially recognized. It's difficult to blame him for that decision. If Biden does decide to drop out voluntarily, everyone is going to be scrambling madly. If he refuses, well... get ready to roll the dice. The Bad Orange Man is coming and he sounds like he means business.

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Duane Patterson 10:00 PM | July 11, 2024
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