Biden campaign courts wealthy donors in D.C. ahead of 2024 race

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is hosting big-money donors in Washington on Thursday as they plan ramped-up voter outreach for the 2024 race, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The event is expected to be attended by a couple of hundred top donors and comes during a fundraising blitz that recently saw Biden travel to Boston for a trio of fundraisers and California for a three day, star-studded haul.

The campaign’s message to donors at the Thursday event will be it is “well-positioned” and “resourced” to build a winning operation next year, according to the person, who declined to be identified.

Among those leading the talks will be White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, who led the 2020 Biden campaign, as well as movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and two veteran Democratic fundraising staffers, Rufus Gifford and Michael Pratt.

Volunteer fundraisers have been under pressure to deliver historic sums of cash ahead of the race, and Biden’s campaign now plans to spend it, hiring staff in the most closely contested states in recent weeks.

The fundraisers in California and an earlier round in Boston raised over $15 million. The total haul in the fourth quarter of 2023 is expected to be close to $67 million, Reuters reported earlier this month.

“By the close of the next quarter (first quarter of 2024) we will likely have a clear opponent in the presumptive Republican nominee – this stretch is where we cement our competitive advantage while they continue to churn and burn in the MAGA primary,” the source said.

Biden has recently used fundraising events to directly attack Trump, calling the ex-president “the first losing president and candidate in history who refused to except the result” of the 2020 race.

Biden also recently said he may have skipped mounting a 2024 re-election bid if he were not facing Trump because the Republican poses a unique threat to the United States. The president later told reporters he would not drop out of the race even if Trump did so.

The president’s aides increasingly regard Trump’s frontrunner status for the Republican presidential nomination as insurmountable. Recent polling has shown the Republican frontrunner leading Biden in hypothetical match-ups on the national level.

Some in the broad coalition of voters that helped Biden defeat Trump in 2020 are wary about Biden’s low approval ratings and there are questions, even among reliable Democrats, about whether the 81-year-old president’s age could be an issue in 2024.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Trevor Hunnicutt and Alistair Bell)