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Fundraising Insights: Trump and DeSantis Standout as Pence and Other Republicans Grapple

by Ryan Lee
7 comments
2024 Presidential Campaign Fundraising

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are the forerunners in the quest for campaign finance in the Republican presidential race, as revealed by federal filings disclosed this Saturday. Amid struggles of some like ex-Vice President Mike Pence, others manifested considerable gains that guarantee a competitive GOP 2024 primary for the foreseeable future.

On the Democratic end, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has rapidly piled up a substantial fund. However, Robert Kennedy Jr., a longshot Democratic primary contender, has also raised enough to secure his spot in the race.

The Q2 filings for the 2024 presidential candidates with the Federal Election Commission (from April 1 to June 30) still leave several questions unanswered, including the total numbers of individual donors for each campaign which ties directly to GOP debate participation. This will only be known by month-end.

The Super PACs affiliated with each candidate, which sometimes make up the majority of their campaign’s fund, will also only release the latest figures at month-end.

Nonetheless, the federal reports provide a few insights six months before the casting of primary votes. Here are some key observations:

TRUMP AND DESANTIS DOMINATE

Despite Trump leading most polls, both he and DeSantis stand in a league of their own in terms of fundraising.

Trump’s team has recently confirmed that his joint fundraising operation, dividing funds between Trump’s campaign and the Save America PAC, gained $35 million in the second quarter. His campaign paid a little over $153,000 for legal fees.

In total, Trump’s campaign reported having more than $22.5 million in the bank as of June 30. The average contribution to Trump’s campaign now stands at $34, which according to his campaign signifies his grassroots support.

Meanwhile, DeSantis secured more than $20 million during the first six weeks of his race. Despite this impressive amount, the Florida governor also exhausted nearly $8 million over the same period, leaving his campaign with $12.2 million at the end of June. DeSantis’ report also indicates a significant dependency on high-dollar donors who won’t be able to contribute any further to his campaign.

Despite some potential red flags, DeSantis’ associated super PAC reported having raised a remarkable $130 million since its inception in March. More than half of this amount was sourced from a state-level political committee once controlled by DeSantis.

DeSantis’ fundraising efforts will provide him some breathing room to enhance his candidacy as he vies to catch up with Trump in the polls.

IMPACT ON DEBATES

The fundraising statistics bear additional importance as they directly impact the GOP’s first presidential debate next month.

The Republican National Committee has announced that beyond a 1% polling threshold, candidates need to have at least 40,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 unique donors from each state or territory in 20 states and territories.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy have recently claimed they reached the 40,000 donor milestone. Pence is yet to announce a similar achievement.

The federal filings disclosed on Saturday do not provide a comprehensive account of such figures, which will only be available at the end of the month.

Haley’s campaign reported raising $7.3 million in Q2 and ended June with $9.3 million in the bank. The main pro-Haley super PAC claims to have $17 million cash on hand.

Scott garnered nearly $6 million since announcing his campaign in May and concluded the quarter with over $21 million, owing to a large transfer from his Senate account. Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old entrepreneur, managed to raise over $7.7 million in the quarter, including a personal loan of $5 million to his campaign. He wrapped up the quarter with over $9 million on hand.

Christie, who was in the race for just 25 days of Q2, raised $1.65 million and had nearly $1.6 million in the bank as of June 30.

IS PENCE STRUGGLING?

Pence amassed less than $1.2 million and wrapped up the quarter with nearly $1.1 million in the bank, according to his federal filing.

He may still reach the 40,000-donor threshold to qualify for the inaugural debate, but there is a potential that the ex-vice president could be excluded from the Aug. 23 main event.

Pence has had difficulty gaining traction since launching his campaign in early June. A hardcore conservative and a dedicated Trump supporter while in office, Pence has been criticized by the GOP base for his refusal to obstruct the certification of Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, despite Trump’s insistence. Pence had no legal authority to obstruct the election results, contrary to Trump’s claims, which triggered a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, where radicalized Trump supporters demanded Pence’s execution.

Other candidates also appear to be struggling to attract donations.

Ex-Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson announced a fundraising total of over $743,000, including his main campaign and his joint fundraising committee. On Friday, he stated he received contributions from 3,928 unique donors from April to June. Since July 1, he claimed contributions from another 2,516 unique donors.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the only Hispanic candidate in the Republican primary, raised $945,000 since launching his campaign two weeks before the quarter’s end. California conservative Larry Elder managed to raise just $467,000.

BIDEN POWERFUL, BUT NOT UNCHALLENGED

Biden and the Democratic National Committee have collected over $72 million for his re-election in the 10 weeks since he announced his 2024 candidacy.

Biden’s fundraising total includes donations to his campaign and a network of joint fundraising arrangements with national and state parties. Despite the significant sum, President Barack Obama raised $85.6 million during the April-to-June quarter in 2011 when he announced his campaign for a second term, three weeks earlier than Biden.

The Biden campaign claimed the total came from nearly 400,000 donors, 97% of the donations were under $200, and more than 30% of donors had not donated to Biden in 2020.

With his money focused towards the general election, Biden seems well-positioned, at least in comparison to Republicans. Although Biden faces only nominal opposition in the Democratic Party’s nomination contest, one of his competitors, Kennedy, has raised enough funds to guarantee he won’t be completely overlooked.

Kennedy’s campaign raised nearly $6.4 million for the quarter and had $4.5 million in the bank as of June 30. A pro-Kennedy super PAC stated it has raised over $10 million so far.


Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News writers Chad Day and Brian Slodysko in Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 2024 Presidential Campaign Fundraising

Who are the leading fundraisers in the Republican presidential contest?

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are the leading fundraisers in the Republican presidential contest. Trump’s joint fundraising operation received $35 million in the second quarter, while DeSantis raised over $20 million in the first six weeks of his campaign.

How is Mike Pence doing in his fundraising efforts?

Mike Pence is struggling in his fundraising efforts, having raised less than $1.2 million and finishing the quarter with nearly $1.1 million in the bank.

How is Joe Biden’s re-election campaign performing in terms of fundraising?

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has quickly amassed a sizeable fortune, raising more than $72 million in the 10 weeks since he announced his 2024 candidacy.

Who is Robert Kennedy Jr. and how is his fundraising going?

Robert Kennedy Jr. is a longshot Democratic primary opponent. He has raised a substantial sum, nearly $6.4 million for the quarter, ensuring that he won’t be completely ignored.

Are Super PACs contributing significantly to the campaign funds?

Yes, Super PACs, in some cases, account for the majority of a campaign’s funds. However, figures regarding their latest contributions won’t be filed until the end of the month.

More about 2024 Presidential Campaign Fundraising

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7 comments

TommyB July 16, 2023 - 12:49 pm

DeSantis racking up the $$$, guy must be doin something right!

Reply
Loyal_Rep July 16, 2023 - 1:31 pm

trump still leading the pack, his base is solid, expect him to go far in 2024.

Reply
KarenM July 16, 2023 - 8:32 pm

Seriously? Pence struggling? didn’t see that coming. I guess being tied to trump hasn’t helped much, has it?

Reply
Lisa_Marie July 16, 2023 - 9:15 pm

As a Democrat, Im relieved Biden’s doing well, but surprised at Kennedy Jr., he’s raised quite a bit.

Reply
GinaLove July 17, 2023 - 2:42 am

So much money could be used for better things than campaign ads, just sayin’.

Reply
James789 July 17, 2023 - 4:38 am

Wow! can’t believe how much these politicians are raising, just shows how much money gets poured into these elections!

Reply
Dave_the_Brave July 17, 2023 - 5:57 am

No matter who’s raising what, it all feels like a game of numbers, who can throw more money, ugh politics!

Reply

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