Former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign brought in $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after its Thursday launch, trouncing the Day One numbers of all his rivals in the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Biden’s campaign reported that a total of 96,926 donors gave it money in its first. The average online donation was $41 and 97 percent of online contributions were under $200.
Biden’s haul broke the marks set by former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke, who raised $6.1 million during the day of his campaign, and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who pulled in $5.9 million on his first day. California senator Kamala Harris, at $1.5 million, raised the next-most money on her first day of campaigning.
The former vice president’s strong showing allayed concerns that his relatively late entry into the race could deflate voters’ enthusiasm for him.
“We are incredibly heartened by the energy and enthusiasm displayed throughout the country for Joe Biden,” read a statement from Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director. “It is crystal clear from the last 24 hours that Americans are ready for dignified leadership, someone who can restore the soul of the nation, rebuild the middle class so everyone gets a fair shot and unite the country behind the core values we all believe in. That person is Joe Biden, and today’s announcement demonstrates Americans agree.”
Biden’s willingness to court high-dollar donors, as demonstrated by a fundraising event he held Thursday night in Philadelphia, may however pose problems for him with the progressive base. The former vice president announced Thursday that, like those of O’Rourke and Senator Elizabeth Warren, his campaign would not take money from corporate PACs or registered lobbyists. But his fundraising event attracted major corporate and Republican donors, which could play into the perception that he is too centrist for grassroots Democrats looking for a more liberal standard-bearer.