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Top One Magazine

Warning signs for Biden and Trump in latest campaign finance reports

Fundraising across Joe Biden’s political operation dropped in April, a potentially worrying sign for the incumbent president who is trailing in the polls and confronting enthusiasm challenges among his base supporters.

And while former President Donald Trump’s side picked up steam after taking over the Republican National Committee, it continued to spend heavily on legal bills while only slightly building up campaign operations last month, according to new campaign finance reports filed late Monday.

Biden announced $51 million raised across his campaign, joint fundraising committees and the Democratic National Committee — down notably from a $90 million March haul that was buoyed by a flurry of post-State of the Union events, including a glitzy Radio City Music Hall fundraiser. His operation still had $192 million cash on hand, his campaign said, a similar total to the previous month.

“April’s haul reflects strong, consistent grassroots enthusiasm,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said in a statement. “Trump’s operation continues to burn through cash and lag behind our growing and aggressive campaign, with no ground game and no demonstrable interest in talking to the voters they need to win.”

Biden’s campaign hadn’t yet filed its official report Monday evening. Presidential campaigns are required to file monthly reports with the Federal Election Commission before midnight, although joint fundraising committees on which the campaigns rely to raise much of their money don’t have to report until July.

Trump’s campaign told donors earlier this month that his entire operation, including the RNC, had raised $76 million in April, which can’t be verified until those July reports. On Monday, the campaign reported having $49 million in cash on hand in his campaign account after new transfers from one of his joint fundraising committees. The campaign reported spending just $5.5 million, with direct mail accounting for more than $1.4 million of that. It spent only $550,000 on payroll.

Another Trump group — the leadership PAC, Save America — spent $3.3 million on legal fees in April, including more than $850,000 paid to Blanche Law, one of the firms defending Trump in his ongoing New York criminal trial.

The RNC reported raising $32 million, an eye-popping total for the committee that has struggled with fundraising for much of the cycle. But that topline figure came with a serious caveat: $14 million were earmarked for the party’s convention, headquarters and recount accounts.

Those funds still help the RNC. But the money can’t go to normal party operations or direct campaigning for Trump or other GOP candidates.

Despite fundraising numbers being down from the previous month, the Biden campaign touted that a majority of the money raised in April came from grassroots donors and sought to draw a contrast with Trump, whom the campaign characterized as “focused nearly entirely on courting billionaire donors maxing out early in the cycle instead of building a durable grassroots fundraising program.”

Biden has a slate of fundraisers scheduled in the coming days. He travels to Boston on Tuesday for multiple fundraisers, and he is scheduled to attend a star-studded reception in Los Angeles next month with former President Barack Obama, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

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