Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announced Friday that it had raised a total of $6.3 million in the first 24 hours of his candidacy—the largest single-day tally for any 2020 candidate thus far.
“That’s more than any other presidential campaign so far,” boasted a note to supporters. The campaign said that 97 percent of online donations were under $200 and that the average online donation was $41. Additionally, they said that a total of 96,926 people contributed and some 61 percent of donations were new and did not come from pre-existing email lists.
A Biden aide told The Daily Beast that the number was measured from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, that the total includes a high-dollar fundraiser Biden attended in Philadelphia on Thursday, and that none of the funds are general-election funds.
The fundraiser was held at the home of David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president at Comcast, where guests were asked to contribute up to the maximum of $2,800 for the primary campaign. Health-insurance executive Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross, was another host. Organizers told The Wall Street Journal that the fundraiser brought in at least $700,000 but The Daily Beast could not independently confirm that figure. Prior to the event, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told The Daily Beast that he was getting calls from people looking for invitations.
Biden’s overall figure is greater than the single-day totals from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who previously held the top two highest 24-hour fundraising totals. However, Biden’s tally came from significantly fewer donors than Sanders’ and included the high-dollar event. Sanders raised more than $5.9 million from 223,047 individual contributors and has not held any fundraisers, nor plans to. O’Rourke has not had any fundraisers, but he will hold a high-dollar event in New York City. He raised $6.1 million in his first day from more than 128,000 contributors, which appeared to lead the field, until the campaign's FEC filing revealed that nearly $300,000 of that money was devoted to general election funds.
Biden’s haul helps ease concerns from within the former vice president’s camp and supporters that he would not be able to out-raise several popular 2020 opponents. While he has access to the prior 2012 Obama-Biden email list, it is likely to have diminished in size over the years and, unlike some of his opponents who had transferred funds from Senate runs, Biden began his campaign with $0.