Joe Biden’s campaign hauled in nearly $10 million during the first presidential debate Tuesday night — smashing its own single-hour fundraising record, as small-dollar donors continue to fuel the former vice president’s mounting money advantage.
Biden’s campaign raised $3.8 million during the 10 to 11 p.m. hour Tuesday night, as Biden and President Donald Trump clashed in a insult-laden debate. From 9 p.m. to midnight, the Biden campaign brought in nearly $10 million from 215,000 donors, including more than 60,000 new contributors to the campaign, according to a Biden campaign official. Nearly 100,000 signed up to volunteer for the Biden campaign during the debate, as well.
Tuesday night’s fundraising totals come as Biden has outraised and outspent Trump, surpassing the president in cash by $141 million, according to Federal Elections Commission filings released earlier this month. In August, Biden raised a record-shattering $365 million, topping Trump’s total by $154 million.
Neither campaign has released its September fundraising totals yet.
The current financial picture for both presidential campaigns represents a stunning reversal of fortunes from last spring, when Trump held a firm financial advantage over Biden, who emerged nearly broke from the Democratic primary contest.
This fall, Biden’s cash edge has allowed him to spend significantly more than Trump, particularly on TV advertising. In August, Biden outspent Trump more than 3-to-1 on TV, according to Advertising Analytics. That pattern has continued throughout much of September, though pro-Trump super PACs, like Preserve America, have helped make up some of the spending gap for the president.
Democratic donors are powering not just Biden’s campaign, but races up and down the ballot. ActBlue, the digital fundraising platform widely used by Democratic candidates and political committees, has broken its own monthly, daily and hourly fundraising records multiple times throughout the last several months. That culiminated in its own biggest one-hour money haul, totaling $6.3 million, the night that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
That cash is pumping into congressional races across the country, giving Democrats a small-dollar money edge that has long worried Republican strategists.
Trump’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment on the release of their own fundraising numbers generated from last night’s debate.
A Biden campaign official also noted that 85 percent of its contributions during the 10 p.m. hour Tuesday night came from SMS text messaging, a direct channel to voters who have moved heavily to mobile usage.
I Will Vote — a voting registration and education website, funded by the Democratic National Committee — also saw its highest traffic in its decade-long history, with users from Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina among the most represented. Nearly 24,000 people submitted new voter registrations.
Alex Isenstadt contributed reporting.