Trump raises eye-popping $36 million since launching reelection campaign a week ago

Marco Bello | Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on June 18, 2019.

President Donald Trump raised a mammoth $36 million since officially announcing his 2020 relection campaign reelection last week.

Trump's seven-day haul is double the entire first-quarter fundraising total for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont , whose $18 million led the field of two dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls.

At a donor event on Tuesday at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the president raised $6 million with 225 people in attendance in support of his joint fundraising committee, according to Republican officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

The committee, called Trump Victory, distributes donations between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Trump's total for Tuesday's event was barely short of the $6.3 million that former Vice President Joe Biden raised in his first day of campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The president's campaign, the joint fundraising committees and the RNC combined to pay his hotel nearly $610,000 for events held there throughout the 2018 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Last week, after the president held his election rally in Orlando, Florida, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced that in the first 24 hours of his 2020 campaign, the president brought in $24.8 million.

He had a $6 million haul at a later luncheon at the Trump National Doral in Florida.

Trump's closest advisors said they are going to continue to aggressively raise campaign cash as Democrats fight to overcome the big field of contenders.

"This time next year, we hope to have a huge advantage of money on hand as the Democrats will just be selecting a nominee and will have spent all of their cash to win the nomination," said Roy Bailey, a national finance co-chairman for Trump's reelection.

Bailey also said the campaign is "off to a booming strong start" and will be able to sustain the momentum through Election Day 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Signage stands outside the Trump International Hotel, formerly the Old Post Office Pavilion, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. The hotel opened on September 12 with a formal grand opening expected in October.

Beyond the advantage Trump has of not having to spend money to compete in a larger field, he's been amassing a campaign war chest ever since moving in to the White House.

At the moment, the president's campaign and his joint fundraising groups have over $40 million on hand.

Out of all candidates running for president on the Democratic side, Sanders has the most cash on hand — $22 million.

The RNC has $37 million on hand, more than four times the Democratic National Committee's warchest of $8 million, accoring to the latest Federal Election Commission filings show.

Political strategists note that Democratic candidates are likely going to have to turn to big money donors — something many of them have repeatedly sworn off — in order keep up with the president's momentum in the fundraising battle.

"They'll try to avoid it at first. But when it comes to the presidency, you need every dollar. If they don't, they're doing themselves a disservice," said Matt Gorman, former communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"Democrats are going to be focused on each other. Republicans will be focused on them. That's a huge difference."

The Democrats face off in a two-night debate marathon starting Wednesday with the likes of former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Thursday's debate will feature Biden, Sanders, senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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