Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday reported a formidable fundraising total of $21.5 million — a burst of good news for the vice president after his stumbles in recent national polls.
That haul puts Biden, who announced his candidacy in late April and just completed his first fundraising quarter, in the top tier of Democratic presidential candidates in terms of money raised, though he is not leading the pack: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg reported on Monday he raised $25 million in the second quarter. Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, reported raising $18 million.
Biden raised his sum in less time than those rivals: He had three fewer weeks in the quarter to raise money because he entered the race on April 25, though the former vice president and his campaign did lay groundwork for donations from supporters before he announced his candidacy. The Biden campaign also said it is “actively reimbursing” any checks it receives that are for the general election, which several other candidates in the race are not doing. General election donations allow enthusiastic donors to give more than the $2,800 maximum that is allowed for a primary election.
For Biden, who has spent recent weeks dogged by controversy over comments about working with segregationist senators in the past, showing that he can raise big money on the campaign trail is a welcome sign of forward momentum, as well as a reversal from his previous runs for office.