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Cash floods into pro-Biden super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks in Darby, Pa., on Wednesday.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks in Darby, Pa., on Wednesday.
(Associated Press)

The biggest super PAC focused on electing Joe Biden grew dramatically in recent weeks, as donors moved to help whittle the financial advantage that President Trump has held heading into their presidential contest.

The group, Priorities USA, said it has raised more than $38 million in contributions and commitments since early May, with more than two-thirds of the donations made over the last three weeks, according to figures shared with The Times. The organization is planning to spend at least $200 million to help elect the prospective Democratic nominee.

“Momentum is building for Joe Biden, and that is translating into an increase in donor support for Priorities,” said Guy Cecil, chairman of the organization. “We’ve been matching the Trump campaign and his super PAC on TV and online in key battleground states and successfully filled the gap prior to the Biden campaign’s spending.”

Priorities and other super PACs for Democrats have been battering Trump on the airwaves while Biden was focused on winning the party’s nomination race and then shoring up his campaign infrastructure and fundraising as he reoriented toward the general election campaign against Trump. The Biden campaign has now unleashed its first wave of general election spending and will continue ramping up. The super PACs will also keep spending heavily to elect him, though by law they operate independently of the campaign.

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The windfall for Priorities comes as Biden has seen his own bonanza in recent weeks. The former vice president, whose history as a weak fundraiser initially worried some Democrats, has been routinely holding hourlong fundraisers that raise several million dollars per event. A recent online event with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren netted the Biden campaign $6 million. Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised almost $81 million in May.

The infusion of campaign cash has occurred as donors are motivated to act both by the civil rights protests that have erupted nationwide and by the Trump administration’s erratic handling of the pandemic. The sums are fast helping Democrats catch up with Trump financially as the election approaches.

Biden recently outspent the Trump campaign on Facebook advertising, a notable benchmark in a medium Trump has long dominated. Priorities and other super PACs, meanwhile, have used their surge of cash to match Trump’s spending in advertising in key battleground states.

The spending is aimed at consolidating recent gains in the polls for Biden, who now leads Trump nationally by more than 8 percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Biden is ahead in most of the battleground states, and his supporters are beginning to campaign in other places that long had seemed hopeless for Democrats. Polls show Trump is now vulnerable in Texas, Kentucky and Iowa, for example, and trailing in Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold.

The shift has forced the Trump campaign and its allies to expend resources in several states that initially had been expected to be safely in the president’s column. That is cutting into the funds available to them for more traditional battlegrounds Trump must win, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump is down by 8 points in Michigan, according to the polling average.

Priorities and other groups supporting Biden have been advertising heavily there, matching advertising spending by pro-Trump groups. The Democratic groups have done the same in Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin. They are now making a big push into Arizona.


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