(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s fundraising surge, which threatens to overwhelm President Joe Biden’s carefully stockpiled cash advantage, was powered largely by an explosion of online donations immediately following his felony convictions. 

Biden, who had no major primary rivals nor an army of attorneys to pay, has built up a $212 million war chest, a record amount for a Democratic candidate. Biden cracked jokes about “broke Don” while his campaign and the Democratic National Committee touted their historic fundraising compared to the cash-strapped GOP. 

Trump worked to dispatch a crowded Republican primary field and used donations to pay legal bills for a number of civil and criminal court cases hanging over him, while Biden didn’t campaign in earnest until recently and built up his coffers. Trump also dismantled the leadership of the Republican National Committee and installed his daughter-in-law as chair, reducing staff at a time when its Democratic counterpart was staffing up in battleground states.

Yet his conviction on 34 felonies for falsifying business records to cover up hush-money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels fired up his donors. The first former president to be found guilty of crimes raised $52.8 million in the 24 hours after the jury decision alone. Trump has also been ramping up his appeal to big-dollar GOP donors and business leaders, holding big-ticket fundraisers with Wall Street executives and other billionaires.

Trump has been closing the financial gap with Biden since clinching the nomination in March. He raised $283 million, $57 million more than Biden.

Campaigns and party committees faced a Thursday deadline to file reports on their May fundraising and spending with the Federal Election Commission. Trump released his fundraising numbers earlier this month. But the self-reported totals don’t paint a full picture of the money race. The amounts don’t include donations to joint fundraising committees, which file their disclosures to the FEC on July 15.

Biden’s early financial advantage allowed his campaign and the DNC to open offices and hire staff in battleground states and hit the airwaves early, assurance that despite shaky poll numbers that he had more than enough cash to run a strong campaign against Trump. 

Now Trump doesn’t just have a polling edge, but is leading the fundraising race while narrowing the gap in available cash. Though he didn’t disclose his total cash on hand, his campaign and the RNC reported to the FEC that they had $171 million in the bank, or $41 million less than Biden. At the end of March, the most recent period for which full numbers are available, Biden’s lead was roughly $100 million. 

Trump’s prospects were further boosted by a single, $50 million contribution to Make America Great Again Inc., the campaign’s preferred super PAC, by billionaire Timothy Mellon, the day after Trump’s conviction. MAGA Inc. has booked $51.3 million of air time starting in July, and other groups are supporting Trump as well. 

“It shifts the psychological battle,” said David Schultz, a Hamline University political science professor. With polls close in an election that could be decided by fewer than 200,000 voters across seven states, Biden could point to his big cash cushion as an ace in the hole to turn out his supporters.

“That’s starting to disappear now,” Schultz said. 

Trump’s fundraising numbers cover his campaign and the Republican Party, meaning that Mellon’s large donation isn’t included.

Biden still has plenty of money and his war chest keeps growing, increasing by $20 million in May. His campaign has spent $72.5 million on advertising through Thursday, according to AdImpact, while Trump’s campaign has yet to run an ad for the general election. Biden’s campaign is spending $50 million on an ad campaign running until the end of June hammering on Trump’s legal problems, with most of the spots running before the two men’s debate on Thursday.

Independent Democratic and progressive organizations have pledged to spend more than $1 billion to help Biden remain in the White House, and big donors are still writing big checks to support him. His allied super political action committee, Future Forward PAC, got $19 million from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and $5 million from hedge fund manager George Soros’ Democracy PAC.

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

Future Forward has booked $129 million for an ad blitz in battleground states that will launch Labor Day weekend, the traditional kickoff of the general election campaign. The spending seeks to put Biden ahead in enough of the seven swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — to win a second term. Trump had a 4-point lead in the latest Bloomberg News-Morning Consult poll. 

A new political nonprofit called Securing American Greatness has already spent $10.3 million on ads attacking Biden in Pennsylvania and Georgia. The group, which doesn’t have to disclose its donors, won’t be due to reveal how much it raised until 2025, well after the election. 

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