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The One Thing That Could Destroy Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Image by Gage Skidmore.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

If Donald Trump Has No Money to Run What Happens? Money is the mother’s milk of politics.

A successful presidential contender needs high-dollar donors to give donations in the millions of dollars to supply Super PACs and low-dollar donors to show that there is ample grassroots monetary support from ordinary voters.

A source from NBC News thinks that Donald Trump is not bursting through with his fundraising goals. Trump may have raised only $9.5 million in the last six weeks of the year for his official campaign, along with Super PACs and joint committees.

We’ll know for sure when Trump releases his campaign finance report for the last quarter of 2022. 

So what happens if Donald Trump can’t raise the money he needs? Well, winning in 2024 won’t be easy. 

Fundraising Haul Since the Announcement Is Around $22 Million

Donald Trump will need more than the $9.5 million he raised in the latter half of his first fundraising quarter since he declared for the presidency. This total is lower than the $11.8 million raised from October 1 until November 15, the source who is familiar with the Trump financial efforts said. In a sign that he is concerned about a long, contested primary, he has hired a consulting firm that specializes in inspiring low-dollar grassroots supporters to open up their wallets.

Potential Lengthy Campaign Needs More Money 

Campaign Inbox is the firm that will help Donald Trump encourage more donors to give so he can build out his get-out-the-vote efforts in early campaign primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He will need to use direct snail mail to collect contributions and blast his connections with text messaging to collect more money. And he will need a robust email effort to receive more dough.

Tap Facebook and Instagram for the Funds

Social media will be a big part of the digital side of the operation. Trump will use Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram, which have been re-instated. Trump has around 57 million followers on the two social networks. In just a few months in 2020, from April to November, Trump spent $89.1 million on Facebook ads alone. Many Republicans log into Facebook every day.

Some of the Wealthy Are Looking at Other Options

The former president started his campaign after the midterm elections when donors were tapped out. Other big check writers are staying on the sidelines to see how the 2024 presidential race develops. Some wealthy donors won’t be with Trump this time and have moved over to supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his own run in May after the state’s legislative session.

He Still Has Small Donor Support

The good news for Trump, according to those familiar with the fundraising numbers, is that 99 percent of donors have given less than $200 to his campaign. This shows ample grassroots support. However, these donations only average about $32. He will continue to pester these voters using a barrage of methods to influence them to give more in the coming months.

Take It to the Max

Then there are “max out donors.” These people can give the maximum amount of money ($2,900) to a primary campaign. Trump will need to make inroads with these check writers. As the old fundraising joke says, “I have enough money to run my campaign, the problem is that it is sitting in your checking accounts.”

Touch Them Until They Give

Donald Trump is just getting started in his fundraising efforts and even if he has a less than stellar quarter, there is plenty of time to spark more giving with persuasive appeals. He will have to “touch” more donors though. A touch is when a campaign makes contact with a person, whether it is a piece of snail mail, phone call, email, or text. Numerous touches are required before someone donates. 

But do people even have excess money lying around? Two-thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Even those who are making over $100,000 a year are struggling financially. Trump will have to inspire some financially desperate people to give more. And don’t forget those billionaires that need to supply his Super PACs with “mother’s milk.” He must persuade the wealthy people to remain on the Trump Train and pay for the trip.

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Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.