The Donald Trump 2024 Political Machine Is Spending Money Like Crazy – According to ancient wisdom from the 1980s, “cash is king.” The maxim certainly holds true when it comes to political campaigning. Ask any candidate – whether they’re running for to be president of the United States or their local school board – and they’ll tell you that you can’t win a race without a significant amount of money. Grassroots movements are great, but even those cost money.
So, it is interesting to note that while Donald Trump leads the Republican primary polls by a significant percentage, Ron DeSantis pocketbook is overflowing with funds and Donald Trump’s financial gains seem to be quickly dwindling due to excessive legal fees.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Never Back Down, the super PAC backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, reported nearly $97 million on hand at the end of June. Make America Great Again, the Trump supported super PAC, reported cash of about $31 million.
What are Super PACs (Political Action Committees)?
PACs, Super PACs, and 501(c)(4)s (nonprofit organizations including civic leagues or local volunteer fire departments, for example, that are designed to promote social welfare causes and must spend less than 50 percent of their money on politics) have become major sources of influences in a candidate’s campaign.
PACs can spend money independently by airing television advertisements, for example, or can donate directly to a candidate but have a contribution limit of $5,000 per-person per-year.
Super PACs, on the other hand, do not have limitations on donation amounts, either from individuals or corporations, although they do have to disclose their donors and list their expenditures.
They are supposedly barred from coordinating with the campaigns they support although this is a limitation rarely enforced. Super PACSs also can run ads in the most expensive media markets, where regular PACs are usually limited by smaller donations, and therefore, budgets.
Where Do Trump Dollars Go?
While both candidates related Super PACs have initially raised millions of dollars, reports show that Trump is spending funds much quicker and many of those dollars are going to address his increasing legal woes.
According to the report in the WSJ, a Trump political-action committee spent at least $21 million on legal fees this year, an initial review showed Monday.
Apparently, the Trump endorsed political action committee Save America spent more than $40 million in legal fees incurred by Mr. Trump and witnesses in various legal cases related to him this year alone. The PAC requested a refund on a $60 million contribution it made to another group supporting the Republican front-runner to try to mitigate the loss.
Small Donations Are Important
While Super PACs are no doubt important to a political campaign for PR and advertising purposes, Trump’s 2016 campaign proved the significance of small direct donations from voters. The former president with help from the RNC pulled in $64 million through a joint digital and mail effort in July 2016, according to his campaign, the bulk of it from small donations. More than two-thirds of that amount had come through online donations. This put him well within striking range of Hillary Clinton.
However, in the recent years, much of Trump’s smaller donations have been diverted to cover his increasing legal costs. Whether or not his supporters know where their money is going is unclear.
Former governor of New Jersey and Trump opponent, Chris Christie argues they don’t, calling the diversion of funds “disgraceful” on CNN during an interview in June.
“He’s going to middle class men and women in this country and they’re donating $15, $25, $50, $100 because they believe in Donald Trump and they want him to be president again,” Mr. Christie said. “They’re not giving that money so he can pay his personal legal fees.”
The fact of the matter is, it’s likely many wouldn’t care that donations are going to cover the GOP frontrunner’s legal fees, as long as the funds support Donald Trump beating other primary candidates and, ultimately, Joe Biden.
Often times, he who has the biggest budget wins, and usually, candidates just can’t keep their coffers filled to make it to the end of the primaries.
However, there is nothing usual about Donald Trump, so even though his campaign finances have taken a significant blow, as history has proven, it’s never a good idea to count him out.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor and opinion writer for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.