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Trump reports outraising Biden campaign in April, but Dems maintain cash advantage

Mike Segar | Reuters
  • Former President Donald Trump outraised President Joe Biden for the first time in 2024.
  • It could be a sign that Trump's trial in New York may be giving his campaign a boost in fundraising.

Former President Donald Trump outraised President Joe Biden in April for the first time in 2024, a potential sign that Trump's trial in New York could be giving his campaign a boost in fundraising.

Biden's political operation announced on Tuesday in a press release that the combined campaign, joint fundraising committees and the Democratic National Committee raised $51 million in April. Trump and the Republican National Committee recently announced they raised $76 million last month.

The exact figures will be impossible to verify until July when the joint fundraising committees for both Biden and Trump file their quarterly financial records with the Federal Election Commission.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee had its best month of the year so far in April, bringing in about $32 million. The Democratic National Committee slightly outraised them, however, with around $35 million booked in April.

Excluding any money from the RNC or any PACs, Trump's campaign committee reported raising $9.4 million in April. Biden's campaign committee raised $24.2 million in the same period, according to new FEC filings released late Monday night.

The success of Trump and the RNC came the same month that the former president took part in a massive fundraiser at Wall Street veteran John Paulson's home in Florida to benefit one of his joint fundraising committees, called Trump 47.

The event raised over $50 million between the Trump campaign, the RNC, his political action committee Save America, and over a dozen state parties, according to the Trump campaign and the RNC.

Still, Trump's apparent outpacing of Biden suggests that the former president's move to try to raise money from his trial in New York could be paying off. Trump's first day in court was April 15.

Despite his legal hurdles, a growing number of wealthy donors who backed Trump's two previous runs for the White House have recently come back into his corner.

Trump's campaign has been fundraising during the trial with email blasts and receiving what amounts to hours of free media, as cable news channels cut in and out of live interviews with reporters outside the courthouse in Manhattan.

Since April 19, Trump's team has spent over $300,000 on Facebook ads, with many of the spots focusing on his trial and raising money for his reelection campaign.

The filings also underscored the differences between how the two campaigns are being staffed and operated.

U.S. President Joe Biden attends a campaign event at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 18, 2024. 
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters
U.S. President Joe Biden attends a campaign event at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 18, 2024. 

Biden's reelection campaign reported spending approximately $3 million on payroll in April, with more than 250 employees on the books, according to a Politico analysis of the raw data from thousands of line items.

Trump's campaign, meanwhile, spent just $550,000 on payroll in April and paid around 65 employees.

Biden has already built out networks of local campaign offices across major battleground states, while Trump maintains a very light footprint in most of them.

Still, it's not clear how much of a difference having staffers on the ground makes in modern presidential elections, where voters see candidates all over social media and national cable news.

During Trump's successful 2016 presidential campaign, for example, pundits on both sides of the aisle predicted that his refusal to invest in large networks of paid staffers across the country would doom his White House bid.

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