Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, donations spiked in the wake of violent protests ignited by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Two fundraisers told Bloomberg News that President Trump's response to the protests, looting and vandalism has prompted donors to give more to Biden's 2020 campaign.
“As a ‘bundler,’ you’re usually out chasing the bundle, but now the bundle is chasing me,” said John Morgan, a longtime Florida-based Democratic fundraiser and one of Biden’s biggest backers, told Bloomberg. Bundlers are individuals who organize and collect campaign contributions from other donors.
Morgan said employees of his law firm, Morgan & Morgan, gave Biden more than $435,000, his third-largest source of funds for the primary.
As Morgan prepares to fundraise for the November general election, he'll be able to bring in bigger donations, thanks to a joint fundraising agreement between Biden's campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The deal permits the former vice president to raise $360,600 from individual donors. A limit of $5,600 will go to his campaign and the rest will be earmarked for the DNC.
Morgan told Bloomberg he's fielded multiple calls this week from donors who can write large checks asking how they can support the campaign.
That sentiment was echoed by Mitchell Berger, another longtime Democratic fundraiser from Florida. Berger said Trump's response to the protests -- like his tweet that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" -- has caused a surge in donations.
“Donors are saying he’s not doing it, he’s not capable of doing it, so our only option is to dig deeper and make sure he doesn’t win a second term,” Berger said.
The protests were sparked last week by the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.
On Tuesday, Biden traveled outside of his home state of Delaware for the first time in more than two months since the coronavirus lockdown to deliver a 30-minute speech at Philadelphia City Hall on Floyd's death, the protests and police brutality.
"The moment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism, to deal with a growing economic inequity that exists in our nation, to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation made to so many," Biden said.
Biden's campaign nearly closed the fundraising gap with President Trump and the Republican National Committee in April. Biden and the DNC raised $60.5 million, while Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $61.7 million, Federal Election Committee records show.
Still, Trump's operation has a much bigger war chest, reporting $255 million in cash at the end of last month. Biden had about $97.5 million in the bank.