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Trump maintains large lead in small donor fundraising, Biden leads among big donors

Trump raised $252 million among small donors compared to Biden's $204 million, according to the latest Center For Responsive Politics data.

Published: October 17, 2020 1:30pm

Updated: October 18, 2020 1:54pm

As the race for the White House reaches its homestretch, President Trump continues to lead opponent Joe Biden in small donor fundraising, while Biden leads among big donors. 

Trump raised $252 million among small donors compared to Biden's $203.7 million, according to the latest data from the Center For Responsive Politics.

Contributions from small donors — those giving $200 or less — are a telling, but imperfect, metric in presidential campaigns, serving as a rough proxy for enthusiasm among the base. The correlation applies in this case, as Trump's lead in small donations aligns with polling showing Trump voters are more enthusiastic about their candidate than Biden voters are about theirs.

Americans who donate to campaigns are more likely to vote, according to the Pew Research Center. "Among those who say they vote always or nearly always, 21% said that they made a donation, compared with 4% of those who seldom voted or voted only part of the time," the Pew survey found.

The Center For Responsive Politics also reported that Biden has raised more money ($282.5 million) than Trump ($222.9 million) among big donors.

As a percentage of their total fundraising hauls, 52.9% of Trump's donors vs. 37.9% of Biden's donors have been smaller donors. Large contributions as a percentage of Trump's hauls were 46.8% compared to 52.9% for Biden.

"I take that, to some degree, as a badge of honor for the Trump campaign, and what I mean by that is this: Of course big money interests are lining up behind Joe Biden," Steve Cortes, a senior advisor to the Trump campaign, told "Just the News AM." "That's not surprising to me, that the CEOs of multinational corporations, who like terrible trade deals, that the titans of Wall Street, hedge funds, Hollywood elites, Mike Bloomberg, all of these big money interests are behind Joe Biden because he represents corporatist globalism." 

Cortes referred to former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg's announced plan to spend $100 million in Florida to help Biden carry the Sunshine State. Bloomberg spent more than $1 billion of his own money during the Democratic Primary before losing to Biden.

"We, on the other hand, are a movement of workers," Cortes continued. "We are a party of American workers. We are vastly out-fundraising the Democrats and Joe Biden when it comes to small donors. Here's the great news: those small donors? Their vote counts just the same as Mike Bloomberg's. If they sent $10 to the Trump campaign, their vote is equal to Mike Bloomberg's, even though he's giving $100 million to the Biden campaign." 

The Biden campaign did not respond to request for comment from Just the News.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in 2016 despite raising $105.6 million from small donors compared to $86.7 million by Trump. However, the Center For Responsive Politics also reported that as a percentage of their overall funds, Trump's 2016 small donations comprised 25.9% of all his 2016 donations, compared to 18.6% for Clinton.

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