Biden widens his financial lead over Trump

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President Biden’s re-election campaign had $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 widen their fundraising lead over Republicans in the presidential race.

The cash disparity was detailed in filings with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, when campaigns and some presidential committees had a deadline to file fundraising and spending reports for February.

Trump did pad his campaign account in February, adding more than $3 million to cash on hand since January, when he ended the month with about $30 million on hand. But the Biden campaign, which ended January with 56 million dollars availableadded $15 million in February.

While Trump leads Biden in most national polls, Biden and the Democratic Party have a growing monetary lead, a gap that has become one of the most pressing issues facing Trump, who has been busy courting some of the biggest financiers of the Republican Party in private dinners at Mar-a-Lagohis club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Still, the financial picture remains incomplete: Both Trump and Biden are raising money through joint fundraising committees, which won’t report until mid-April. These committees transfer funds to campaigns, which are better able to pay salaries and purchase advertising time at the lowest rates guaranteed to candidates.

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

Biden, as the incumbent, has been raising money for months alongside the Democratic National Committee, a huge operation that does the legwork needed in the general election.

Biden will also have the support of more than billion dollars that outside groups have pledged to support his candidacy, money that is separate from the party accounts they presented on Wednesday.

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

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

Trump’s legal battles have also been a drain on his general election funds. He faces four criminal charges along with civil cases, which are becoming expensive. Last year, the committees that supported him spent at least 50 million dollars in legal expenses, filings show, and those costs are likely to rise as it prepares for possible trials this year.

A super PAC backing Trump, Make America Great Again Inc., reported raising $12.8 million in February, with $25.5 million on hand, up from $19.7 million in late January.

The report filed Wednesday for one of Trump’s committees (a leadership PAC called Save America, which he has used to pay his legal bills) reported $4 million on hand as of the end of February, down from more than $6 million in January.

That change appears to be attributable to an increase in Trump’s legal expenses. The group spent nearly $5.6 million in February on bills to legal teams defending it.

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