June 16, 2020 / 2:04 AM / 18 days ago

U.S. presidential candidate Biden scores best fundraising month ever in May

(Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee jointly raised $80.8 million in May, the Biden campaign said on Monday, the most the campaign has collected in any month.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event devoted to the reopening of the U.S. economy during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 11, 2020. REUTERS/Bastiaan Slabbers

Biden, who raised significantly more than April’s $60.5 million, has built a lead over Republican President Donald Trump in national opinion polls, amid the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest over police brutality in many U.S. cities.

The campaign said it had tripled its online donors since February and recorded an average online donation of $30 in May. But Trump still holds a massive cash advantage, after three years of fundraising efforts.

Still, the haul demonstrates the progress Biden’s fundraising operation has made since the former vice president secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination, following a primary contest in which he was often outraised by rivals.

On Monday night, one of those former rivals, Senator Elizabeth Warren, helped Biden raise $6 million from 620 donors for an online fundraiser featuring both politicians - the most for any Biden event thus far.

Several top Biden fund raisers told Reuters this month they were seeing a swell of support as the country was gripped by widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody.

The Trump campaign has not announced its May figures. In April, Trump and the Republican National Committee jointly brought in $61.7 million, barely edging out the Democrats.

The committee and the Trump campaign raised $14 million on Sunday, Trump’s 74th birthday.

Last week, Trump attended his first in-person fundraiser in months, due to the pandemic. Biden, who has only recently resumed occasional travel, has continued to hold virtual fundraisers.

In a statement, Biden said, “Just a few months ago, people were ready to write this campaign off. Now, we are making huge dents in Donald Trump’s war chest.”

Reporting by Joseph Ax in Princeton, New Jersey; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler

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