Politics

Biden widens his financial lead over Trump

President Biden's re-election campaign brought in $71 million available at the end of February, more than double the $33.5 million in former President Donald J. Trump's campaign account, as Democrats continued to extend their fundraising advantage over Republicans in the presidential race.

The cash flow disparity was detailed in documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, as campaigns and some presidential committees were given a deadline to file fundraising and spending reports for February.

Mr. Trump effectively boosted his campaign's account in February, adding more than $3 million to his cash flow since January, when he ended the month with about $30 million on hand. But Mr. Biden's campaign, which completed in January with $56 million availableadded $15 million in February.

As Mr. Trump leads Mr. Biden in most national polls, Mr. Biden and the Democratic Party have a growing financial advantage — a gap that has become one of the most pressing issues facing Mr. Trump , which is working to woo some of its leaders. the biggest financiers of the Republican Party private dinners at Mar-a-Lagohis club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Yet the financial picture remains incomplete: Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are raising money through joint fundraising committees, which won't file their reports until mid-April. These committees transfer funds to campaigns, which are better able to pay salaries and buy advertising time at the lowest rates guaranteed to candidates.

Over the weekend, Mr. Biden's team reported raise a total of $53 million in February from committees supporting his re-election bid, with a combined total of $155 million, up from $130 million at the end of January. April reports will provide more details on how this money was raised and from whom.

Mr. Biden, as outgoing president, has been fundraising for months alongside the Democratic National Committee — a huge operation that bolsters the groundwork needed for the general election.

Mr. Biden will also be supported by more than 1 billion dollars that outside groups have pledged support for his candidacy — money separate from the party's accounts filed Wednesday.

Mr. Trump's campaign told Fox News on Wednesday that it had raised a total of $20.3 million from a joint fundraising committee, with $42 million available between the two groups.

Part of Mr. Biden’s advantage is that of a traditional incumbent. Mr. Trump only became the presumptive Republican nominee in February and immediately gutted the Republican National Committee and filled it with loyalists. The committee itself reported raising $10.7 million in February and ended the month with $11.3 million on hand.

Mr. Trump's legal battles have also taken a toll on his overall campaign funds. He faces four criminal charges as well as civil charges, which are prove costly. Last year, committees supported it spent at least $50 million on legal fees, according to filings, and those costs will likely increase as he prepares for possible trials this year.

A super PAC supporting Mr. Trump, Make America Great Again Inc., said it raised $12.8 million in February, with $25.5 million on hand, up from $19.7 million at the end of January.

The report filed Wednesday for one of Mr. Trump's committees — a steering committee called Save America, which he used to pay his legal fees — showed $4 million at the end of February, down from more than of $6 million in January.

The change appears to be attributable to a slight increase in Mr. Trump's legal fees. The group spent nearly $5.6 million in February on invoices to the legal teams defending it.

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