The Big 2024 Donors Behind Biden, Trump and DeSantis Will Soon Be Revealed

President Joe Biden will finally reveal how much money he’s raised for his reelection bid, ending the suspense of supporters concerned that his campaign has raised less than expected.

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden will finally reveal how much money he’s raised for his reelection bid, ending the suspense of supporters concerned that his campaign has raised less than expected.

The Federal Election Commission reports due Saturday for the second quarter of 2023 will also show which Republicans are mounting a serious challenge to former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

“These FEC deadlines during the early primary season are important for the candidates because they can help them brag how about how big their war chest is,” said Abby Wood, a professor specializing in law and politics at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Unlike Biden, GOP frontrunners Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis trumpeted their totals before the deadline. Trump’s campaign said he had raised $35 million, while DeSantis brought in more than $20 million, but they didn’t break down the details or donors.

Biden, as the incumbent with no serious challenger, is almost certain to have raised much more that. President Barack Obama raised $86 million from April to June 2011 when he ran for reelection.

Biden also has significant advantages over Republicans at this stage. He just needs serious cash for the general election, while the nearly dozen Republicans face a costly primary campaign and restrictions on donations. 

And thanks to an agreement struck with the national and state Democratic parties, Biden is raising money for both himself and their operations, giving him a much larger team across the country and a stronger position for grassroots fundraising.

Despite the edge, some donors say outreach from campaign staffers has been slow or disorganized, prompting fears that they aren’t raising as much as they could. Still, major Democratic donors are pleased with the president’s economic policy achievements on renewable energy, semiconductors and infrastructure, which the campaign has turned into a platform dubbed Bidenomics.

“We are encouraged by the strong response we are seeing from donors and our grassroots supporters,” said Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz, who added they’ve received contributions from a significant number of new donors. 

For Republicans, the fundraising disclosures will show the breadth of their support and who is on track to qualify for the first debate next month. The Republican National Committee has mandated that candidates need a minimum of 40,000 donors nationwide or to average at least 1% in the polls, although they have until Aug. 21 to meet those requirements. Senator Tim Scott, who announced he raised $6 million in the last quarter, said he’ll make the cut, and the disclosure from Nikki Haley, a former United Nations ambassador, will detail how she reached her $7 million haul.

Trump, with $35 million, will presumably lead the Republican roster in donations. The list of those cutting the maximum checks to his campaign will draw scrutiny as operatives try to ascertain if he still enjoys the support of major donors and business leaders.

The report from DeSantis, at the same time, will give indications how effectively he’s reaching average people who donate small amounts, a proxy of grassroots support. His campaign is having trouble matching Trump’s ability to raise such money online, according to a person familiar with the strategy.

Indeed, the campaign thinks its best hope is recruiting wealthy contributors who are disillusioned with Trump or had never supported him anyway, according to the person. One such success: Houston commercial real estate businessman Alan Hassenflu, who had largely given to state-level candidates and causes and never donated to Trump, hosted a fundraiser for DeSantis at his Aspen home Thursday. And the organizers also asked for donations for the general election, in addition to the primary.

DeSantis’s optimism on his ability to defeat Trump and face Biden in 2024 has yet to be matched by public sentiment, although he’s the only candidate — so far — who has announced fundraising levels anywhere near the former president’s. Trump remains the top choice for Republicans, garnering support from 53% of voters while DeSantis trails with 20.6%, in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. 

“DeSantis is putting in the work to win,” said spokesman Andrew Romeo.

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