Joe Biden plans first New York fundraising blitz as a 2020 candidate for president

Democratic candidate for President former Vice President Joe Biden addresses a crowd at a restaurant on May 13, 2019 in Hampton, NH.

Nancy Lane | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready for his first fundraising blitz in New York as a 2020 candidate for president, CNBC has learned.

Biden and his allies are setting up at least two fundraisers that are expected to take place June 17 and 18, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. While the venues are still to be determined, the events will be in New York City, these people said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently indicated to friends that he’s planning to open his formidable fundraising network to Biden, will likely be invited to attend, those with knowledge of the plans said.

Some of Biden’s most ardent supporters are based out of New York, including hedge fund manager Jim Chanos, founder and president of Kynikos Associates. The famed short seller will be attending one of the events, according to a source who has seen the growing guest list. Chanos told CNBC in February that he was committed to backing Biden’s 2020 run.

Jon Cooper, formerly a major bundler for President Barack Obama and now a backer of Biden in New York, told CNBC he can’t wait to attend the events.

“As a longtime supporter of Joe Biden, I’m anxiously awaiting his first New York fundraiser. I’ll be there with bells on. A lot of my friends are chomping at the bit to help Joe’s campaign, and they likewise can’t wait to attend,” he said.

Political fundraisers, also sometimes known as bundlers, have been critical components in helping candidates raise millions of dollars behind the scenes.

A Biden spokesperson declined to comment. Chanos did not return a request for comment.

New York is considered a hot spot for campaign fundraising. During the 2016 presidential campaign cycle, donors throughout the state combined to give more than $617 million to political causes, with 71% going to Democrats, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That year, only California ranked higher with $756 million contributions.

Biden’s trip to New York comes after a successful swing through Hollywood, where he raised more than $700,000 at an event with a host committee that included Hollywood luminaries such as DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, executive and producer Peter Chernin, actor Rob Reiner and Terry Press, president of CBS Films.

The development of Biden setting his sights on New York’s donors follows his rival, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, making his way to the Big Apple for a donor event of his own on Monday. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has also recently traveled to the city for fundraising events.

Biden has been leading the way in the overall fundraising game. He beat out all of the 2020 contenders in their first-day hauls, raking in $6.3 million. He finished just ahead of O’Rourke and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Before his trip to New York Biden will be in Florida where he’s set to be at a fundraiser hosted by attorney John Morgan, who has been a fierce advocate of legalizing marijuana. Biden also plans to head to Nashville, Tennessee.

Meanwhile, the former Delaware lawmaker is surging in early polling.

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows Biden making inroads in the pivotal swing state of Pennsylvania, where he leads President Donald Trump 53% to 42%. With voters over the age of 65, Biden leads 58% to 38%.

A Morning Consult poll that was updated Monday has Biden up by at least 20 percentage points over his rivals for the Democratic nomination among primary voters.

Leave a Reply