Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.
We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
LEADING THE DAY:
When former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE announced at the last Democratic primary debate on March 15 that he had raised $33 million in the first half of the month, he appeared on track to set a fundraising record for the cycle.
He ultimately raked in about $46.7 million over the course of March — his best monthly haul to date, but one that fell just short of the roughly $47.6 million raised by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in February. That means that, in the second half of March, Biden raised about $13.7 million, less than half of what he raised in the first part of the month.
As the coronavirus pandemic forces millions of Americans out of work and brings traditional election year activities — in-person fundraisers, rallies and the like — to a screeching halt, campaigns are seeing a slowdown in their pace of fundraising, recent filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) pulled in about $63 million in March, a substantial sum that still fell about $23 million short of the roughly $86 million they raised in February. Trump Victory, which helps raise money for the Trump campaign and RNC, raised about $10 million less in March than it did in February.
And ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising platform, saw a roughly 24 percent decrease in the number of its contributions in March after notching roughly 7.3 million in February.
To be sure, the campaigns aren’t on the brink of financial ruin. Trump’s political network raked in a staggering $212 million in the first quarter of the year. And ActBlue set a record for small-dollar donations between January and March.
But the slowdown in fundraising underscores the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic turbulence. And with no clear timeline for when — or if — things will return to pre-crisis norms, campaign fundraising could prove even more difficult moving forward.
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In an email to supporters on Monday night, Biden acknowledged the possibility that fundraising in April may be even harder than March.
“I know that April may not match March in fundraising, and that’s okay by me,” he wrote. “The world has changed a great deal. It’s unrecognizable at times. Your family and your community need your generosity and strength now more than ever.”
— Max Greenwood
Pandemic takes toll on campaign fundraising in March, by Max
The Memo: Low trust in Trump mars crisis response, by The Hill’s Niall Stanage
Biden, Trump ponder campaign options in coronavirus era, by The Hill’s Amie Parnes
FROM THE TRAIL:
Biden scored a big endorsement from the United Autoworkers on Monday. The union, which is made up of roughly 400,000 workers, said in a statement to The Associated Press that the U.S. was in need of stability “and more balance to the rights and protections of working Americans.” The endorsement came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE notably left the union out of his task force to reopen the economy.
Biden revealed on Monday that he would have no hesitation in picking former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill’s Morning Report – Treasury, Fed urge more spending, lending to ease COVID-19 wreckage Budowsky: Michelle Obama or Tammy Duckworth for VP Michelle Obama urges class of 2020 to couple protesting with mobilizing, voting MORE as a running mate, telling KDKA in Pittsburgh that he would “take her in a heartbeat.” However, the former vice president added that he did not think Obama was interested in the position. The comments come as a speculation grows around who Biden will pick to be his running mate. Biden said earlier that he was considering Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the position, while former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she would like to serve as vice president.
Progressive groups are rallying behind Biden’s campaign at a faster rate than they did with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s 2016 presidential campaign. The Hill’s Rafael Bernal reports that the influx of support is the result of opposition to Trump’s policies and rhetoric, as well as changes in how the Democratic Party has approached Hispanic voters. Latinos are expected to be a critical voting bloc in November’s general election.
Gretchen Whitmer: I have made gut-wrenching choices to keep people safe.
Marco Rubio: We need a more resilient U.S. economy.
Bill Scher: Is Biden troubled or teflon?
FROM CONGRESS & THE STATES:
Two-thirds of voters in a new poll said they support voting by mail for the November election, according to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll.
Biden’s campaign raked in more than $46 million last month, marking the former vice president’s best fundraising month of the campaign. His campaign raised $18 million in February. The latest haul came as Biden collected numerous victories in Democratic primary states, and as the field coalesced around his candidacy. However, Biden is still trailing President Trump, whose campaign, along with the RNC, brought in $63 million in March.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spent more than $1 billion on his failed presidential campaign, more than both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and President Trump in all of 2016. Justine Coleman reports.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)
Kansas Democratic primary
Hawaii Democratic primary
District of Columbia primaries
New Mexico primaries
Rhode Island primaries
South Dakota primaries
West Virginia primaries
New York primaries
New Jersey primaries
Democratic National Convention
Republican National Convention
One hopeful thing
ABC News anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosPelosi: Presidents should not ‘fuel the flame’ National security adviser defends Trump tweets: The president ‘wants to de-escalate violence’ Sanders pushes back on doubts supporters will back Biden MORE announced Tuesday that he will donate his blood plasma as part of a coronavirus study after he was cleared of the virus.
“Good news for me and my family,” Stephanopoulos said in a tweet. “Last week I tested positive for Covid antibodies, confirming I cleared the virus after weeks without symptoms. I’ve also signed up for a clinical trial to donate my blood plasma and expect to make the donation in the coming weeks.”
Good news for me and my family. Last week I tested positive for Covid antibodies, confirming I cleared the virus after weeks without symptoms. I’ve also signed up for a clinical trial to donate my blood plasma and expect to make the donation in the coming weeks
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) April 21, 2020
The Hill’s Justine Coleman reports that the studies involving blood plasma are working to create new treatments for those infected with COVID-19 using antibodies from recovered patients.
Stephanopoulos, who has been anchoring “Good Morning America” from home, tested positive for the virus last week after his wife, Ali Wentworth, revealed she had the virus earlier this month.
Wentworth exhibited symptoms of the virus, while Stephanopoulos was asymptomatic.
For more good news, be sure to check out The Hill’s Selfless Acts page, where our reporters are detailing how Americans are helping each other through the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more campaign news of the day.