When the Biden campaign began slowly scheduling in-person fundraising events at the beginning of the summer after months of entirely virtual campaigning, some staffers weren’t sure that the juice would be worth the squeeze. Were the potential health risks and logistical stresses posed by having the former vice president in a pandemic worth a fundraiser that might only bring in enough money to cover the costs?
“You have to remember, people were still talking about a capital-D depression,” one top fundraiser told The Daily Beast, remembering one June fundraiser in New Mexico that brought in just $25,000. “It almost felt dirty, asking people—even wealthy people—who were convinced that the sky was going to fall for money.”
Smash-cut to two weeks before Election Day, and Joe Biden—whose opponent is ostensibly a literal billionaire—is the one swimming in cash. Biden’s campaign reported raising roughly $147 per second in September, entering the final full month before the election with a record $432 million in cash on hand, according to a statement by campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.