Biden Is Beating Trump in Money Wars, Though Not Overwhelmingly

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President Biden held a notable but not overwhelming financial advantage at the end of last year over his chief Republican rival, former President Donald J. Trump, an encouraging sign for an incumbent struggling to generate robust enthusiasm among the Democratic grass roots.

Mr. Biden’s campaign reported having about $46 million in cash on hand at the end of December, compared with $33 million for Mr. Trump’s campaign, according to filings on Wednesday to the Federal Election Commission.

But Mr. Biden, who faces only nominal competition in the Democratic primary race, has not amassed the sort of imposing financial advantage some in his party had anticipated, given that Mr. Trump has had to devote resources to fending off his Republican primary rivals. Mr. Trump’s political action committees have also directed $50 million toward his legal expenses as he fights 91 felony charges.

The year’s final federal filings also provide the first evidence of how the Biden campaign is spending the millions it has collected.

Its largest expenditures are on television and digital advertising — more than $16 million in the third quarter — and personnel. The reports show 72 people on the campaign’s staff at year’s end, though many more people have been hired since then. Officials said the campaign now had more than 120 employees on its payroll.

Mr. Biden’s campaign released its top-line fund-raising numbers two weeks ago, in the middle of the Iowa caucuses, but officials revealed few details at the time. The campaign, the Democratic National Committee and three affiliated fund-raising vehicles raised a combined $97.1 million in the final reporting period of 2023, and had $117 million in cash at year’s end.

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Biden Is Beating Trump in Money Wars, Though Not Overwhelmingly

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