Former Vice President Joe Biden remains among the most popular candidates in Iowa even though he hasn’t officially announced that he will run. Biden has emerged as a popular candidate among moderate Democrats, offering a stark contrast to progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Yet Biden is having trouble attracting the one group that you’d think would already be in his pockets: Mega-donors.
Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders both managed to raise about $6 million within 24 hours of announcing their candidacy. Several other Democratic candidates have found voters ready and willing to open their checkbooks. If Biden jumps into the race, he will be facing several well-funded opponents and he’ll likely need money if he wants to overtake them.
Biden has been phoning mega-donors, but so far is getting a chilly reception. Some donors have been willing to write $2,700 checks, the maximum amount a single person can give, but many have balked at requests to “bundle” donations. Bundlers encourage other people to donate the maximum $2,700 and act as fundraisers, often able to deliver millions of dollars to campaigns.
So what gives? Many within the Democratic Party doubt that Biden will be able to beat out younger, more energetic candidates. Biden has run for the highest office before but failed to secure the nomination. Many question whether Biden will appeal to younger voters and people of color.
One potential solution: pick the right candidate for vice president. Biden is already considering Stacey Abrams, a former state senator in Georgia who nearly flipped the staunch red state blue in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race. Abrams is an African American and made waves by nearly becoming the first African American governor in Georgia’s history. Biden may announce a VP candidate early in the race in order to shore up support.