Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s 2020 campaign raised $21.5 million in the second quarter, his campaign announced in an email to supporters on Wednesday.
The number puts Biden behind South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, but ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who announced an $18 million haul on Tuesday. Biden, however, entered the race a little more than three weeks after the start of the fundraising quarter, meaning Buttigieg and Sanders had more time to raise money.
The fundraising announcement comes as Biden embarks on his longest stretch on the campaign trail since announcing his 2020 bid in April. He’s in Iowa Wednesday and Thursday, before heading to Houston on Friday and South Carolina on Saturday and Sunday. Biden has plans to go to New Hampshire next week.
The former vice president is hitting the campaign trail after the first Democratic debate, where he took a hit from California Sen. Kamala Harris over his past opposition to desegregation busing. Polls conducted after that debate, including one by CNN, show his numbers have dipped significantly, although he still maintains a slight lead over the Democratic field.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo will sit down with Biden in Iowa in an interview that will air on Friday. It is one of only a few national television interviews Biden has done since he announced his candidacy.
The campaign said it received 436,000 donations from 256,000 donors, with an average donation of $49. The campaign also said it did not take money for the general election, meaning all of the funds it raised can be deployed during the primary.
A Democratic fundraising strategist who works with the Biden campaign told CNN that the campaign had hit and exceeded its goal but was not prepared for the size of Buttigieg’s haul. The Biden campaign built its targets months ago around other candidates — with the likely exception of Sanders — raising no more than $10 million to $12 million given the size of the field.
The Democratic strategist said Biden still has plenty of fundraising opportunities but acknowledged that raising money is also dependent on his performance, noting August is a notoriously tough month in which to reach and rally donors.
Biden has devoted a substantial amount of time to fundraising since he entered the race three weeks into the second quarter, attending more than two dozen fundraisers.
Biden revealed last month that his campaign may have raised nearly $20 million since the former vice president entered the 2020 race, telling attendees at a New York City fundraiser that 360,000 donors had given to his campaign with an average contribution of $55, which would total $19.8 million.
The campaign had also previously revealed the Biden raised $6.3 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate.
Original article written by Arlette Saenz and Jeff Zeleny at CNN