Less than two months from the midterm elections, House and Senate candidates are busy driving their campaigns to a close. But for those looking at a presidential run in 2024, the midterm elections are just the start of the main show.
Currently, the most talked-about presidential hopeful is Donald Trump. Despite his ongoing controversies, he remains an influential figure who can set the day’s agenda with his statements. To top that off, he has a vast and well-organized political machine, an excellent talent for showmanship, and the deepest pockets in the race. Let’s take a look at his finances to understand his true potential.
How do Trump’s Funds Rank versus its Competitors?
Following his original presidential campaign in 2016, Donald Trump remained in control of several Political Action Committees and non-profit organizations. Several remained active throughout his presidency and ramped up their fundraising efforts following the 2020 election. Following the unfavorable election results, he created a new Leadership PAC called “Save America.”
According to a report by CNN, in March 2022, these PACs had a combined cash stockpile of $124 million.
To put this unprecedented figure into comparison:
- In the same month, the Republican National Committee had $45 million in cash
- At the end of the second quarter of 2022, the Democratic National Committee had a little over $59 million on hand
- One of Trump’s major rivals within the RNC, Senator Marco Rubio, has raised $36 million during the first half of 2022
Where are these funds?
As the seasoned businessman he is, Donald Trump has distributed his funds across several PACs and organizations, each targeting slightly different demographics. Currently, the $124 million are held by:
- The Save America Leadership PAC, accounting for approximately $110 million
- The Make America Great Again PAC
- The America First Action Super PAC
Approximately 48% of this money comes from “small individual contributions”: private citizens who donated $200 or less at a time.
A powerful tool for loyalty and mobilization
According to the Federal Election Commission, PACs and Super PACs have relative freedom when spending money. However, they are not campaign funds, and should he formalize his bid for the next election, he would not be allowed to use any of these funds for his personal campaign.
Yet, he still has the power to transfer and donate to other like-minded organizations. When some among his own party are moving against him, a few well-placed donations can help ensure his supporters remain in control.
The most notable example of this happened during the recent Georgia primaries. Here, Trump’s organizations transferred $500,000 to the Get Georgia Right PAC and helped spur Senator David Perdue’s victory – as well as open rival Gov. Brian Kemp’s defeat. The Save America PAC also provided Harriet Hageman with extra campaign funds. Hageman would then defeat Liz Cheney, one of Trump’s most vocal critics within the GOP.
Even without an official campaign, Donald Trump will surely position himself as a mover and shaker. He should also be prepared for the scrutiny coming his way.
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Image Credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash