WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has raised $21.5 million since entering the presidential race in late April, his campaign said Wednesday.
Mr. Biden’s haul for the second quarter of the year cements his status as one of the financial heavyweights among the two dozen Democratic presidential contenders. But it fell short of what Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., collected in the quarter, which ran from April through June.
While Mr. Biden did not announce his candidacy until several weeks into the quarter, he also had the advantage of beginning his campaign as a household name who had spent eight years as vice president and decades as a senator.
Mr. Buttigieg, who at the start of the year was little known outside of Indiana, raised $24.8 million in the quarter, his campaign said this week. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who was also a candidate for the full quarter, collected $18 million, his campaign said.
Presidential candidates are due to report their second-quarter fund-raising to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. Fund-raising totals hardly assure success at the ballot box, but they can be an indicator of which candidates are gaining steam and which are struggling to attract interest. The forthcoming reports will also offer details on how campaigns are spending their money.
In the quarter, Mr. Biden received more than 436,000 donations from more than 256,000 donors, his campaign said. The average donation was $49, according to his team.
By comparison, Mr. Sanders’s campaign, which is not holding high-dollar fund-raisers, collected less money than Mr. Biden in the quarter, but received a much larger number of donations — nearly one million, according to the campaign. The Sanders campaign said its average donation in the quarter was $18.
In announcing its fund-raising total, the Biden campaign emphasized how much it had raised per day that Mr. Biden was in the race, a statistic that puts him above Mr. Buttigieg for the quarter. “We’ve raised more per day than any other presidential campaign,” Mr. Biden’s team wrote in an email to supporters.
Mr. Biden has devoted considerable time to high-dollar fund-raisers since joining the race, allowing him to scoop up huge amounts of campaign cash. But his time on the fund-raising circuit also carries the risk that he will be perceived as focused on wealthy donors at a time when small online donations are coveted by Democratic campaigns.
It was at a fund-raiser in New York last month that Mr. Biden cited two segregationist senators as he recalled a time of “civility” in the Senate, remarks that have drawn criticism and put a spotlight on his opposition to school busing early in his Senate career.
Mr. Biden had been expected to post a big number for the second quarter. His campaign said it brought in $6.3 million in the 24 hours after Mr. Biden entered the race on April 25, more than any other campaign had disclosed raising in its first day.