Trump Faces Cash Crunch
Former President Donald Trump finds himself in a financial bind as he navigates legal battles, secures the Republican nomination, and heads towards a general election showdown with President Joe Biden.
MAGA Inc. and Trump’s Campaign
Campaign finance records reveal that MAGA Inc., the main super PAC supporting Trump’s campaign, spent more money than it raised in the latter half of 2023. This deficit was largely due to transferring $30 million back to Save America, the primary vehicle for covering Trump’s substantial legal fees. Similarly, Trump’s official campaign also outspent its earnings in the last three months of the year.
This indicates that Trump’s recent threats to blacklist Republican donors who do not contribute to his cause are not just about loyalty; he genuinely needs the money.
Biden’s Financial Advantage
In comparison, Biden’s campaign ended the year with $46 million in cash on hand, significantly more than Trump’s $33 million before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. The main super PAC supporting Biden, Future Forward, also held a slightly higher amount in the bank than MAGA Inc., with $24 million compared to $23.3 million at the end of the year.
Democrats celebrated Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s financial prowess, highlighting their ability to amass funds for campaign purposes rather than legal battles. Biden’s campaign spokesman emphasized their focus on connecting with voters and building a strong campaign infrastructure for victory in November.
Trump’s Legal Troubles and Fundraising
Trump’s legal troubles have served him well in the Republican primary campaign, rallying GOP voters to his side as he accuses Biden, without evidence, of targeting him with the Justice Department. Trump relies on these allegations as a key part of his strategy to defeat Biden in November, using them to raise funds and quash Republican opponents.
Despite this, Trump continues to excel at small-dollar fundraising. Only 6% of his campaign’s cash came from donors who reached the maximum allowable contribution of $6,600, positioning him to tap into that donor base for further contributions.
Expanding Campaign Operations
Both Trump and Biden expanded their campaign operations in the final quarter of the year, transitioning from the initial stages of their campaigns to more robust general election machines. Trump had 78 people on his payroll, while Biden had 74.
Inside Trump’s Numbers
MAGA Inc., a super PAC that can legally accept unlimited donations, raised $47.8 million from July to December, including significant contributions from Timothy Mellon and Linda McMahon. However, the super PAC spent $55.4 million over the same period, leaving $23.3 million in the bank at the end of the year. The $30 million transferred to Save America and Trump’s lawyers is nearly 50% more than the $20.4 million spent on ads in the last six months of 2023.
Trump’s campaign received $19.1 million in contributions from October to December, less than 60% of Biden’s $33 million haul. Trump’s campaign spent $23.6 million during this period, including large sums on advertising, legal consulting, air travel, staging events, and payroll.
Inside Biden’s Numbers
Without a serious primary challenger, Biden was able to focus his funds on communicating with voters about himself and Trump. He spent $19.3 million in the final quarter of the year, primarily on ads and text message outreach. Payroll and payroll taxes accounted for about $3 million of his expenses.
As the incumbent, Biden benefited from fundraising coordination with the Democratic National Committee and the ability to channel donations into state Democratic Party accounts through his campaign. The DNC reported having $21 million on hand at the start of the year, and big donors have been contributing to state party accounts through the Biden campaign.
On the GOP side, the primary campaign prevents Trump from using the Republican National Committee in the same way. However, the RNC, although officially neutral in the primary campaign, has called for unity around Trump as the “eventual nominee.”
Read More of this Story at www.nbcnews.com – 2024-02-01 15:57:00
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