'No One is Picking Up the Phone.' Biden Donors Refusing to Ante Up After Debate.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Some of Joe Biden's biggest fundraisers have paused their efforts to raise big money for the campaign. Others have stopped their efforts altogether. Most of Biden's mega-donors are waiting to determine if he remains in the race before resuming their fundraising efforts, while others are already looking for an alternative candidate.


Potentially, this is the biggest problem Biden faces: a growing fundraising crisis. He has to pay for 160 campaign offices and more than 500 employees in battleground states alone. By September, he may have as many as 300 total campaign offices across the country. Hundreds of paid staffers, office expenses, recruiting volunteers, and local PR operations don't come cheaply. 

A national campaign is a monster whose gigantic maw is always open and constantly needs to be fed cash to keep operating. Biden is gunning for a total haul of $1.30 billion by the time the campaign is over and will almost certainly spend every cent.

So a breakdown in fundraising at this late date is more likely to force Biden to withdraw than almost any other pressure that might be brought to bear.

“No one is picking up the phone,” a well-connected Democratic fundraiser told CNBC.

A few of his bundlers are limiting their outreach to people in their personal fundraising networks, after they either received no response at all to asks, or else they received furious replies from people who questioned why they should give money to Biden after his substandard debate performance, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bundlers are a crucial piece of any campaign’s financing strategy. Typically wealthy and well connected themselves, bundlers agree to reach out directly to people in their personal networks — both social and professional — to ask for donations for campaigns and joint fundraising committees.


If Biden loses the bundlers, his only option is to go the populist route and try to "out-Trump" Trump.

New York Times:

If he is able to harness anti-elite sentiment in the party’s small donor base to ride out the post-debate turmoil, it would put him in the company of more populist politicians such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia. Those lawmakers have generated waves of cash from small donors by invoking perceived mistreatment at the hands of the establishment.

“We do know that high-visibility, high-intensity moments can trigger an immediate flood of small donations and that anger, resentment and outrage are powerful motivators in politics, including for small donors,” Richard H. Pildes, a law professor at New York University who has studied the role of small donors in fueling political polarization, said in an email. “It’s also possible we are seeing a conflict between the base of the Democratic Party, who want Biden to stay in, and the more ‘elite’ faction of large donors, who want an alternative.”

The difference between small donors and large ones is that smaller, grassroots donors "give from the heart." But is a populist Joe Biden believable? Democrats in general have been arrogantly dismissive of ordinary voters in Middle America, and the idea that Biden could open a spigot of cash from center and right-leaning conservative grassroots voters in the heartland beggars belief. 


But the radical left coastal elite activists who fancy themselves as grassroots voters have already given tens of millions of dollars to Biden and would no doubt open their wallets just to keep him in the race. 


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member