MEMO: Strong Fundraising and New Partnerships Fuel Priorities USA General Election Expansion

April 15, 2020

First and foremost, I hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy as we all deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Even in the midst of dealing with all of the recent challenges, Priorities USA has been hard at work and remains focused on defeating Donald Trump and electing Joe Biden. Just in the last three weeks we have formed two new partnerships, launched three television ads in battleground states, created 638 pieces of new creative content holding Trump accountable on his handling of the pandemic, and won two voting rights cases.

In a Wall Street Journal story out today, Joe Biden’s campaign affirmed the critical work that Priorities has been doing and the leadership role we are taking among a coalition of organizations that are focused on winning in November.

The Biden campaign said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that Priorities USA “is an organization of proven effectiveness and the work they are doing to elect Joe Biden and defeat Donald Trump is absolutely critical.”
“As Democrats across the country come together to achieve this goal, we are pleased that Priorities USA will be a leader of an unprecedented and united community of organizations focused on winning in November,” the campaign said.

But we have a lot of work ahead of us taking on a well-funded opposition. President Trump and the RNC raised more than $212 million in the first quarter, including more than $63 million in March. The campaign and the RNC entered April with more than $240 million cash on hand and their Super PAC just announced $40 million in additional advertising starting this week. This financial power makes our efforts all the more necessary.

Priorities originally set a $100 million, then $150 million pre-convention budget when we expected the primary to run late into the calendar. Now that the general election has begun, we are realigning our budget and raising our goal to $200 million. Priorities has been holding Trump accountable in key states since last summer, and this expanded budget will allow us to continue to lead the fight to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden.

We are already off to a strong start with over $126 million raised and committed to support our work. After raising $8 million in March across our three entities, we now have $110 million in the door and $16 million in new commitments.

We have a big challenge ahead of us, but we are going to do everything we can to elect Joe Biden. Now that he is our nominee, I wanted to update you on the expansion of our media program, the creation of a new Partner Advisory Council, our work to hold Trump accountable on his mishandling of the COVID-19 response, and an expansion of our voting rights initiative.


Our fundraising success has allowed Priorities to outspend the Trump campaign online and on TV in key battleground states since last year.

We’ve also begun planning for the months ahead including the fall campaign. Priorities has already begun reserving advertising for the fall with an initial $17 million in digital ad reservations. This includes a robust campaign to educate, mobilize, and turn out voters in our battleground states.

With Donald Trump’s PAC going on the air next week and making millions of dollars in reservations this fall, we are preparing to make fall television reservations next week.


As part of the transition to the general election, Priorities USA is launching a Partnership Advisory Council and has recently announced several new critical partnerships for general election programs:

  • We are working with Color of Change PAC on a $3 million digital ad campaign targeted towards Black voters who are considering voting for Donald Trump or a third party candidate.
  • We are working with League of Conservation Voters PAC on the digital component of a $14 million ad campaign targeting swing voters in battleground states on clean air and water.
  • We’ve built a coalition of over 90 national, state, and local groups to coordinate the critical work of electing Joe Biden and share resources like polling and data.

As our coalition of partners expands, we are also excited to announce our new Partnership Advisory Council.  This diverse group of partners will take an all hands on deck approach to beating Donald Trump in November. The council will include:

  • Matt Barreto, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Latino Decisions
  • Rev. Leah Daughtry
  • Jennifer Granholm, Former Michigan Governor and Chairwoman of American Bridge
  • Arisha Hatch, President, Color Of Change PAC
  • Austin W. Keyser, Director of Political and Legislative Affairs Dept. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Board Chairman, Latino Victory Fund
  • Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President of Campaigns, League of Conservation Voters
  • Deval Patrick, Former Massachusetts Governor and Vice Chair of American Bridge
  • Michelle Ringuette, Assistant to the President for Politics, Government Relations and Campaigns at the American Federation of Teachers
  • Nicole Tisdale, Principal, BTS Consulting
  • Howard Wolfson


In recent weeks, Priorities USA Action launched an initial $6.6 million television and digital campaign across Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona to ensure that voters hear the truth about the coronavirus epidemic as Trump spews falsehoods from the White House briefing room on a daily basis. We have now spent more than $8 million on this effort and are continuing to extend it. 

The first three TV ads on Trump’s coronavirus response, “Exponential Threat,”  “Better Prepared,” and “Front Lines,” use Trump’s own words to show that he downplayed the epidemic even as the number of infected Americans skyrocketed, and refused to help doctors on the front lines with urgently needed equipment. The Trump campaign has threatened TV stations with baseless cease and desist letters in a failed effort to prevent this from being seen by millions of voters in battleground states. The Trump campaign even sued one small Wisconsin TV station, showing just how far they are willing to go to intimidate TV stations into not airing ads critical of the president. 

We’ve also released scores of digital content which are being displayed on voters’ screens across battleground states holding Trump accountable for failing to respond effectively to the pandemic:

  • Nurses and Doctors” showcases how the Trump administration has abandoned the medical professionals on the front lines of this crisis, leaving them without the necessary protective equipment to care for patients while keeping themselves safe.
  • Ventilators” gives voice to the patients and medical professionals begging for vital equipment while Trump repeatedly lies by saying we already have enough.
  • Playbook” emphasizes the intelligence that the Trump administration ignored in the months leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, which is now claiming thousands of American lives.
  • Other Countries” juxtaposes the exponential rise of cases in the US with Trump’s lies that we have “very few cases” when compared to other countries.
  • Map” demonstrates that while the number of cases of coronavirus was quickly rising, Trump was still downplaying the crisis and refusing to take responsibility.
  • Truth and Action” and “Steady Leadership” show the American people what real leadership looks like. While Donald Trump continues to demonstrate incompetence and an administration in chaos, Vice President Joe Biden will bring honesty and decisive action back to the White House.

We will not back down and we will continue to hold Trump accountable as he continues to mismanage this crisis and endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.


The Priorities USA Foundation and Priorities USA has increased our voting rights budget by $2 million as we continue to take on attempts to erect unnecessary barriers to voting across the country. This includes challenging state laws that disenfranchise marginalized communities who already face unique challenges exercising their right to vote, especially during this national health crisis. 

In April, we secured two big legal victories in Florida and New Hampshire bringing our current count of litigation victories to 11. In Florida, the Foundation announced that a settlement had been reached on a 2019 lawsuit which allowed college and universities campuses to host early vote locations. 

In New Hampshire, the North District Court struck down State Senate Bill 3 (SB3) which created unconstitutional barriers to voting such as a proof of residency requirement in order to register to vote. We proved in court that the law also unreasonably burdened people attempting to vote and violated their equal protection rights.

In the coming weeks, we expect to file several more legal challenges to ensure that Americans can exercise their right to vote, whether by mail or safely in person in November.