Joe Biden’s presidential campaign Friday admitted it is “worried” about its finances after it ended the third quarter of 2019 with far less cash on hand than its top competitors.
“I hate to say it, but our opponents are way ahead of us when it comes to money in the bank,” Elana Firsht, the Biden campaign’s online fundraising director, said in a frank fundraising email to supporters. “If we don’t pick up the pace here, we might have to make budget cuts that could seriously hurt our momentum in this primary.”
The email came after filings with the Federal Election Commission showed that the former vice president finished the third quarter with just under $9 million cash on hand, while Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had $33.7 million, $25.7 million and $10.5 million, respectively. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg also raked in $23.4 million.
“Having less cash on hand means we have less budget to respond to the constant twists and turns of this race — and with Donald Trump constantly pushing his false smear campaign against Joe, that’s a HUGE problem,” Firsht wrote, referencing President Trump’s unfounded claims that Biden abused his power to help his son’s business interests in Ukraine “while he was vice president.”
“The first votes will be cast in this primary starting February 3, 2020 — just over 100 days from now — and we need to be fueling our grassroots efforts in crucial states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina,” she added. “We can’t afford to fall behind, so I’m asking you to step up now and make a donation to fuel our campaign.”
While several other candidates, as well as Biden, spent more than they raised in the third quarter, election observers have increasingly begun to view the former vice president as a precarious front-runner, despite his strong polling numbers at the start of his campaign.
Though Biden maintains leads in many statewide and national polls, concerns among voters and analysts have only been exacerbated by a sustained surge in both polling and fundraising by Warren and a string of his public gaffes and underwhelming debate performances.
“It’s increasingly clear he’s not up to the job of running a campaign,” one Democratic strategist unaffiliated with any of the presidential campaigns told The Hill.
“Joe Biden is cruising to a bruising unless he can reverse the free fall he’s been in since he announced back in the spring,” added Democratic strategist Brad Bannon.