WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump has outperformed President Joe Biden so far when it comes to raising campaign cash in Minnesota.
Trump raised $581,838 from donors in the state as of Sept. 30, the end of the last quarter, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. Biden raised $388,517 in campaign contributions from Minnesotans during the same period.
In total, Minnesotans have donated $1.8 million to presidential campaigns in the 2024 cycle, with most of that money – about $1.3 million – going to Trump and his GOP primary rivals.
The fundraising in Minnesota mirrors the political cash that has been raised across the nation.
Nationally, Biden is also lagging behind Trump. Biden has raised about $44.4 million nationally, while Trump has raised $57.5 million.
Yet Minnesota was better for the Biden campaign than its neighboring Midwestern states when it comes to campaign contributions.
Biden’s campaign has received only $16,000 and $13,000 from donors in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively, and about $86,000 from Iowa donors. The president’s campaign raised about $263,000 from Michigan donors.
Biden’s campaign is also helped by joint fundraising with the Democratic National Committee and several other committees, whose resources can all be used to support the Democratic president’s reelection effort.
Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign war chest is expected to get an infusion on Wednesday from a Twin Cities fundraiser that will host big-money donors, including some who have supported Rep. Dean Phillips’ congressional campaign. Phillips, who represents a suburban Twin Cities congressional district, launched a last-minute, long-shot primary challenge to Biden last week.
On Friday, the day Phillips announced his challenge to Biden, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday sent a fundraising email on behalf of the Democratic president’s campaign in a subtle shot at Phillips.
“Minnesotans love Joe Biden,” the email’s subject line said.
In his appeal for donations, Walz wrote “you know, I have to say this about Minnesota: it’s a great state, full of great people. And sometimes they do crazy things, like setting the world record for most basketballs spun at the same time (that’s true) or winning the most WNBA championships (go Lynx!). And sometimes…they make political side shows for themselves. But that’s for another email.”
Biden will also make a public appearance at a farm during his one-day stop in Minnesota as part of an effort to barnstorm across rural America.
Biden carried Minnesota in his first matchup against Trump in 2020 by a margin of 7 percentage points. That was a significant improvement over Hillary Clinton’s narrow 1.5-percentage-point margin in 2016.
But Trump’s ongoing legal battles, including two federal and two state indictments, have benefited his campaign fundraising.
University of Minnesota-Morris political science professor Tim Lindberg said there are other reasons Trump is outpacing Biden in fundraising in the state thus far. Trump has a much more vigorous primary challenge than Biden and needs money earlier in the campaign cycle to fend off his GOP challengers. Biden, meanwhile, only had self-help author Marianne Williamson to fend off before Phillips entered the race.
“It’s somewhat early for Biden to be ramping up,” Lindberg said.
Another factor that may be motivating Minnesota’s Republican voters to reach into their wallets to help Trump is the DFL successes this year in the state Legislature. Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, legalizing recreational marijuana, and criminal justice reforms that some view as being “soft on crime” have rankled many GOP voters.
Lindberg said Trump’s fundraising in the state should be a warning to the DFL and Democrats. “Biden needs to be careful,” he said. “He should not take anything for granted in Minnesota.”
National polls say another face-off between Biden and Trump would be very, very close, with some polls showing Trump to have a slight advantage.
“Republicans are more engaged than Democrats right now when it comes to national politics,” Lindberg said.
That dynamic can be seen in the donations Minnesotans are giving to GOP presidential candidates, because Trump isn’t the only Republican raising money in the state.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley raised nearly $319,000 from Minnesota donors. And North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who is trailing nearly every GOP presidential candidate in fundraising nationally, raised $201,109.
Once thought to be Trump’s toughest primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised only $65,778 from donors in the state. Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott raised $44,300, businessman and political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy raised $38,160, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie raised $16,957.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has just dropped out of the race, raised about $21,000 in Minnesota.