MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s campaign says they are looking for a strong performance from the Delaware senator in this Sunday’s Democratic Presidential Debate to help boost fundraising efforts.
Biden communications director Larry Rasky tells CNN that he was quite pleased with Biden’s performance during the first Democratic debate in South Carolina in April. And he says he expects his candidate to pick it up a notch on Sunday.
Biden and his seven Democratic presidential rivals face off at Saint Anselm College just outside of Manchester, New Hampshire in a debate sponsored by CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Rasky says a good night by Biden during the debate could help when it comes to collecting campaign contributions. Biden raised just over
four million dollars $2.1 million in the first quarter of this year, placing far behind the Democratic frontrunners. But Rasky says regardless of how much cash the campaign pulls in during the second quarter, Biden is in the race for the long haul. Rasky estimates that Biden needs to raise some $20 million over all to be able to campaign effectively through the Iowa caucuses.
CNN caught up with Rasky at a house party for Joe Biden that was missing one thing - the candidate. The party was hosted by New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’Allesandro at his home in Manchester. As Biden supporters were waiting for their candidate to arrive, the campaign announced that bad weather had delayed the Senator’s flight from Delaware and that Biden not be able to attend. But Granite State Democrats got a chance to see White House hopeful Saturday when he spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention in Concord.
Biden is now headed back to Iowa to appear with four of his rivals at a Democratic Party dinner in Cedar Rapids. For Biden, it’s a quick return to Iowa, where he just spent six straight days campaigning. The Biden campaign says that the candidate and Senate Foreign Relations chairman will spend some 50 to 60 percent of his campaign time in Iowa between now and the January caucuses.
One place you haven’t seen Biden is on television during the commercial breaks. Among the second tier of candidates, Biden is the only one not to put up campaign commercials. Both Senator Chris Dodd and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have run ads in the crucial early primary states. But Rasky says expect to see commercials by the Biden campaign by August or September.
Regardless of campaign commercials, everyone will get good chance to see the Delaware senator Sunday night during the debate here in New Hampshire. Live CNN coverage of the debate begins at 7pm ET and CNN's pre-game coverage kicks off two hours earlier. CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader host a GOP presidential debate two nights later, at 7pm ET Tuesday.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser