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Joe Biden's presidential campaign collected $80.8 million in May. Credit: Son Nguyen

Former Penn Presidential Professor of Practice and Vice President Joe Biden, who has long struggled to raise money for his 2020 campaign, surpassed 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump for the first time in last month's fundraising efforts.

Biden and the Democratic National Committee pulled in $80.8 million for his presidential campaign in May — over 10% more than the $74 million that Trump raised with the Republican Party. 

Biden raised about 33% more in May than he raised in April, and the campaign tripled its total number of online donors since February, largely due to his growing support among small donors. In May, half of his campaign's donors were new supporters, and a majority were educators. 

Biden thanked donors for their support amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn, which caused 40 million Americans to lose their jobs and led to record-high rates of unemployment claims.

Despite Biden's fundraising lead in May, Trump remains ahead of his opponent in total fundraising, as his campaign has already raised $817 million and is set to raise over $1 billion in total this summer, The New York Times reported. His campaign also spent more than twice as much as Biden’s campaign in May — Trump spent $24.5 million while Biden spent $11.7 million. 

“May was Biden’s first full month as the Democrat nominee, and with that brought advantages of higher fundraising limits and the full weight of the Democrat Party,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement on Saturday in regards to May fundraising. “Biden was still unable to make a dent in the massive cash-on-hand advantages that the Trump campaign and RNC enjoys.” 

The surge in Biden’s fundraising coincides with his rising position in national polls. A polling average published by Real Clear Politics shows Biden up by nearly 10 points over Trump, also showing him with a lead in several battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin.

While the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to nearly all in-person fundraising and campaign events, Trump has recently gotten back on the campaign trail, holding a controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 21 and a high-dollar fundraiser at a private home in Dallas, Texas earlier this month. 

Biden has yet to resume in-person events, but has organized several fundraisers and virtual Zoom events featuring the Democratic Party’s biggest names.

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