For the first time since the official launch of his election campaign, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, went to raise funding for a presidential battle that could once again break all financial records.
After a speech with economic and social content in upstate New York, the US President participated in Manhattan in two receptions attended by wealthy donors.
According to CNBC, one of the two events was organized by Tony James, the former director of Blackstone investment groups, who was recently chosen to take a seat on the White House Oversight Committee. Tickets to the event are priced at $25,000 per person, according to CNBC.
The other reception is hosted by businessman George Logothetis.
Outside the United States, such meetings in luxury apartments or luxury villas that combine politics and extravagance often raise controversy, especially when a sitting head of state participates.
But in the United States, money is not only the backbone of electoral battles, but it is also a measure of the dynamic from which this or that candidate benefits or does not benefit.
More than two billion
Advisers to Joe Biden’s campaign confirmed to The Washington Post that they hope to raise more than $2 billion through various channels, in the hope of bringing the eighty-year-old president to a second term.
In the camp of his main opponent, Donald Trump, it was reported that the recent and exceptional indictment of the Republican billionaire caused an increase in financial contributions.
And in a country where election campaigns have raised huge amounts of money, the non-governmental organization OpenSecret, which specializes in political finance, estimates that the 2024 presidential race may be the most costly in American history.
For 2020, expenditures on all candidates and organizations amounted to $5.7 billion, more than double the amount spent on the previous presidential elections, according to the NGO’s estimates.
Contributions don’t just come from billionaires or multinational corporations. According to OpenSecret, during his 2020 campaign, Joe Biden received about $400 million in small contributions, each of less than $200.
And the American media confirms that the Democratic president can rely again on the big names in the economy and technology. But what about small donations this time?
Recent polls do not look in favor of Joe Biden, who has been criticized for his advanced age and high cost of living.
A recent Washington Post/ABC poll showed that 68 percent of Americans consider him too old for a second term. And 44 percent view Donald Trump, who is 76 years old, the same way.
The confidence rating in the president, according to the same poll, reached a new low point of 36 percent, much lower than the presidency of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump during the same period. And these are the three presidents who failed to be re-elected.
Therefore, Joe Biden cannot allow himself to fall behind financially from his predecessor, who launched his campaign last November.
The former Republican president announced that he raised $18 million between November 15, 2022, and March 31, 2023, according to publicly released figures.
However, his campaign asserts that he collected the equivalent of this amount — more than $15 million, according to Politico — in the two weeks following his indictment in New York on March 31, in a case of forging accounting documents.
As for Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who may join the election campaign soon, he will be at the head of a fund exceeding $100 million, according to US media.
However, electoral law in the United States makes it difficult to know how many millions this or that candidate has accumulated.
The reason is that it is more or less restrictive depending on whether the donations go to the candidates or to their PACs or Super PACs.
These “political action committees” are a type of investment fund that play an essential, if sometimes hidden, role in campaigns.