The race by Republican presidential contenders to stockpile campaign cash and influential donors ahead of the expensive 2024 primary season is hitting full swing, while President Joe Biden is building a formidable war chest for the general election.
(Bloomberg) — The race by Republican presidential contenders to stockpile campaign cash and influential donors ahead of the expensive 2024 primary season is hitting full swing, while President Joe Biden is building a formidable war chest for the general election.
Latest campaign finance disclosures, due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday, covered donations and expenses from July through the end of September. The period is normally slow for raising money due to summer vacations but several candidates — including Biden and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump — bucked that trend with strong fundraising this quarter.
One major victory for Trump: He received a donation from billionaire Harold Hamm, who had previously said he didn’t think the former president could win the 2024 election and would back other GOP candidates instead.
Donor names and cash on hand are key metrics to watch. Here’s how the presidential candidates are faring:
- Third quarter total: $71 million
- Cash on hand: $91 million
Biden far out-raised the Republican field with a $71 million haul that includes money for his campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties, according to a statement.
That puts him in a particularly enviable position because he doesn’t have to spend money in a primary contest as GOP candidates must.
Biden had yet to file his disclosure with the FEC as of late Sunday, which will include the names of the major donors to his campaign.
- Third quarter total: $45.5 million
- Cash on hand: $37.5 million, of which $36 million is for the primary
Trump’s $45.5 million total makes him the clear fundraising winner in the GOP field, where he is also the dominant frontrunner in the polls. But some of that money is going to his leadership political action committee, Save America, which is paying the bills to defend the former president and some of his aides in multiple lawsuits.
His campaign received a $24.2 million infusion from Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, his primary vehicle for raising money. Continental Resources’s Harold Hamm also gave $3,300. Hamm sent the money on Aug. 22, after Georgia prosecutors indicted Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Hamm said in May that he didn’t think Trump could win the 2024 general election. The billionaire oil and gas executive has previously donated to Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
- Third quarter total: $15.1 million
- Cash on hand: $12.3 million, with $1 million in debt; $5 million is designated for use in the primary
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s financial picture isn’t what it seems at first glance. Debt and campaign contribution limits that restrict some money for use only in the general election means he has limited funds for the primary.
DeSantis relies heavily on donors who give the maximum $6,600, but half of that can’t be used unless he’s the GOP nominee in the general election.
Among those who donated $6,600 to his campaign in the third quarter were Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team owner Ken Kendrick and James Allen, chief executive officer of Seminole Gaming and a former Trump Organization executive.
Small-dollar donors — those who contribute $200 or less — gave DeSantis $2.5 million, or 17% of his total. But DeSantis has one major advantage: the super political action committee Never Back Down supporting him is one of the best-funded groups ever to back a GOP candidate.
- Third quarter total: $11 million
- Cash on hand: $11.6 million, of which $9.1 million is for the primary
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had her most prolific fundraising quarter to date, putting her in a position to challenge DeSantis for the No. 2 spot in the polls, according to her campaign.
Donors have been increasingly interested in Haley following two standout debate performances in August and September. Haley, along with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott hadn’t yet filed FEC disclosures as of late Sunday.
- Third quarter total: $7.4 million
- Cash on hand: $4.2 million
Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy put $1 million of his own wealth into his campaign. In total, he’s loaned or donated $17 million to his long-shot presidential bid. In the third quarter, he got more support from other donors than from his own pockets for the first time.
He received $6,600 donations from crypto billionaires Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss. Small-dollar donors pitched in $2.8 million.
- Third quarter total: $3.8 million
- Cash on hand: $3.9 million
Former New Jersey Governor and prominent Trump critic Chris Christie raised more than he spent and ended September with more than twice what he had at the end of previous quarter.
Christie received the maximum $6,600 donation from Scott Rechler, CEO of real estate giant RXR and a Federal Reserve Bank of New York board member. Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller and Arizona Cardinals football team owner Michael Bidwell each gave $3,300. Nicole Tepper, wife of Carolina Panthers football team owner David Tepper, gave $3,500. Seth Klarman, the CEO of the Baupost Group who usually supports Democrats, also gave $3,300.
The strong fundraising will propel Christie well into the spring. His campaign is banking on a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary. He is polling at 9% in the state, according to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, which puts him in fourth place, well behind Trump’s 45%.
- Third quarter total: $3.4 million
- Cash on hand: $1.2 million, with $620,000 in debt
Former Vice President Mike Pence spent nearly as much as he brought in and contributed $150,000 of his own money to the campaign, a strong sign he is struggling to raise funds.
Seema Verma, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Trump administration, and Andrew Puzder, the former Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. executive and Trump’s first choice to head the Labor Department, each gave $6,600. Lobbyist Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, gave $5,000.
- Third quarter total: $3.4 million
- Cash on hand: $2.3 million
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who’s largely self financing his campaign, contributed $2 million of his own money, accounting for nearly 60% of what he raised in the quarter.
Burgum, who made his fortune from selling his software company to Microsoft, can put as much of his wealth into his campaign as he wishes, but needs to attract enough small-dollar donors to qualify for the Republican debate stage. He raised $409,000 from them, about a third of his contributions.
(Adds Trump, Ramaswamy fundraising details)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.