That’s Easy: No Money to Run a Smart Campaign for 2024 – Donald Trump, for all of his time in politics, has been known for his skill at raising money. While he claimed during his 2015 primary run that he was “self-funded,” Trump started fundraising aggressively once the general election campaign got going, and has never really stopped since.
Trump and his affiliated operations have been known to pursue nontraditional fundraising gimmicks. That means everything from promising a dinner with the ex-president to birthday cards for Trump that requires a donation to more blatant appeals of emotional blackmail, implying that there’s such a thing as the “Trump Donor Hall of Fame,” and that Trump himself would be walking through it later that day and would likely be disappointed if the recipient’s name wasn’t included. And don’t forget about the Trump NFT collection of late last year.
Donald Trump: No Money for 2024?
One thing we haven’t heard much about historically is fundraising trouble for Trump. But now, that appears to be the case.
According to NBC News, Trump has “revamped” his campaign fundraising team after getting off to a slow start so far in the 2024 campaign, hiring a company called Campaign Inbox in order to “solicit the small-dollar donor set.” Other new vendors may be added in the future for the fundraising operation, NBC added.
Per documents obtained by the campaign, Trump’s 2024 effort raised $9.5 million in the last six weeks of 2022 – which was actually less than it had raised in the six weeks before the November launch.
NBC’s sources attributed Trump’s slow fundraising start to “Trump’s decision to launch in the shadow of a tough midterm election for the GOP, donor fatigue, and his soon-to-end absence from the social media giant Facebook.”
In addition, Trump officially launched his 2024 bid shortly after the midterm elections, a time on the calendar described as “a fundraising doldrums for candidates across the partisan and ideological spectrum.” And he also launched at a time when many in the Republican Party were unhappy with Trump for backing candidates who lost in swing states.
“If you want a big fundraising pop when you announce your campaign, you don’t do it right after an election where all your donors are burned out from being bombarded by fundraising asks and you don’t have a great track record to show for it,” Eric Wilson, a Republican digital fundraising consultant, told NBC.
All Not Lost for Trump on Fundraising
The report added that there are reasons to think the fundraising will pick up. Donald Trump has been restored to Facebook, which was a key fundraising platform for his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, while the Trump operation has not yet launched its “traditional mail-fundraising apparatus.”
“Almost 50% of Republican donors log in to Facebook every single day,” Wilson said, citing a recent survey from his group. “So if you are not able to reach those donors, you’re just at a huge fundraising disadvantage.”
Even so, Trump is facing stiff potential competition, even if no other candidate is officially in the race yet. According to Open Secrets, which tracks campaign donations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised $217 million for his reelection bid last year, which is a new record for any candidate for governor in history.
As for early polls of the race, they have differed. Axios reported this week that recent polls of Republican voters in the early going of the 2024 race have Trump in the lead of the multi-candidate race, with Emerson College placing Trump at 55 percent and DeSantis at 29 percent. The latest Morning Consult poll has Trump at 49 percent and DeSantis at 30 percent. It doesn’t appear that any major poll to date has placed any non-Trump or DeSantis candidate gaining more than single digits.
“DeSantis appears to be losing the favorability edge he opened up in November after Republicans’ disappointing results in the midterms and Trump’s dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes significantly dented the former president’s popularity,” Axios said.
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.