President Donald Trump raised $24.8 million in the hours following the official launch of his campaign for re-election in 2020, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.
The haul dwarfs the first day fundraising totals announced by some of his Democratic rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s $6.3 million, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke’s $6.1 million, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s $5.9 million.
McDaniel reported the fundraising total in a tweet less than 12 hours after Trump announced his bid for a second term to thousands of supporters at a rally in Orlando late Tuesday. In a 78-minute speech, he touted his administration’s accomplishments, attacked his political opponents and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and offered red meat lines to rally his base.
Trump previously disclosed in a filing with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 20, 2017 — the day of his inauguration — that he had begun raising money for his re-election. Unprecedented for a president in the first two years of his term, Trump raised $67.5 million for his campaign.
McDaniel’s tweet doesn’t indicate whether the money Trump raised since his announcement is for his campaign alone or also for the RNC, which can accept contributions of up to $355,000 from individuals. If included, that would give Trump a big advantage when calculating a one-day fundraising total. The RNC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Democratic presidential candidates like Biden and Sanders can accept just $2,800 from donors for their campaigns under federal election law. Primary candidates generally don’t start raising money for their party until they’ve clinched the number of delegates necessary to secure the nomination.
The RNC is using the cash advantage to build infrastructure for the 2020 campaign. The party is in the process of training over 4,400 neighborhood organizers and volunteers at 250 events to help get out the vote in the general election. The DNC has plans to train 1,000 organizers this summer.
Trump’s campaign ended the first quarter with $41 million in the bank, FEC records show. The RNC, which reports its totals monthly, had $35 million at the end of April. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, has spent more than it has raised this year and has $7.6 million in the bank and $6.2 million in debt.
Democratic donors are dividing their contributions among more than 20 candidates but have been as generous as Republicans. From January through March, the 16 Democrats who’d officially launched their presidential campaigns collectively raised $77 million, or $3 million more than Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee combined.
Trump will be padding his total on Wednesday. He is scheduled to attend a fundraiser this afternoon at his Trump National Doral Miami club, where the minimum donation to attend is $100,000. Proceeds will benefit his campaign and the RNC.