BREAKING: Top GOP donors now REFUSE to give money to Trump contenders, seeing primary chances fade and Trump victory inevitable

"It’s becoming clear the cavalry’s not coming."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
President Donald Trump pulled in a massive $45.5 million in donations in the third quarter of 2023, holds $36 million in cash for the primary election to secure the GOP nomination, and the rest of the Republican field is losing the support of the party's megadonors. Those donors can see that Trump is far and away going to be the GOP nominee for president in 2024.

Many of these donors are the same ones who attempted to use their spending power to stop Trump from winning the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. These donors are seeing that Trump has all but secured the 2024 GOP nomination for president, and are holding back on giving money to his rivals. "The competitive GOP primary eight years ago saw an earlier and higher level of donor engagement, particularly from financial industry leaders," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"It’s becoming clear the cavalry’s not coming," longtime GOP strategist Ken Spain said, per WSJ. "The donor community has come to recognize the strength of Trump and the difficulty in dislodging a major part of the base from him. You’re tilting at windmills if you try."

Representatives for DeSantis, Haley, and Scott pitched GOP donors at the end of last week on giving more money to their campaigns, saying that they had clear paths to winning the Republican nomination. Those who were in the room, the WSJ reports, did not believe that it "prove[d] immediately convincing."

Co-chair of a super PAC backing Tim Scott, Rob Collins, said in a memo they were pulling back on their advertising this fall because "this electorate is locked up." He said that advertising would be "wasting money" until there are less candidates vying to unseat Trump from the top spot. Others, including the Koch brothers, are interested in fueling money around the top contenders coming out of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, then spending on Super Tuesday, but there's no indication that this would be anyone other than Trump.

Trump has the money, he has the polling numbers, and he has the support of the Republican base. Primary elections are set to begin in January, the election is only 13 months away, and Trump is the frontrunner by a huge margin. He's taken the lead in polling among Republicans, and there are many polls where, in the hypothetical rematch between Biden and Trump, Trump is the victor.

Small donors raised $24.5 million for Trump's campaign coffers. This despite the four criminal cases Trump is facing, two from Biden's DOJ, one in Georgia, one in New York, and a civil case in New York brought by AG Letitia James. James, as well as Manhattan's DA Alving Bragg, both ran their campaigns on a platform of going after Trump. Republican voters have only been buoyed in their conviction to elect Trump.

The rest of the field includes DeSantis, who was an early favorite among donors but whose campaign sputtered as soon as he announced in, live in a Spaces event on Elon Musk's X. The lackluster announcement was only a harbinger of things to come as the campaign suffered in the shadow of Trump's lead and as a result of their own missteps.

DeSantis pulled in only $15 million in the third quarter, down from his $25 million haul in the second quarter. He has only $5 million on hand for the primaries, National Pulse reports.

Former UN Ambassador Haley, Senator Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Trump's own previous VP Mike Pence have all failed to make a big enough impression on voters for any of them to even get close to Trump's polling lead, nevermind overtake it.

They have less money than he does, too, though Vivek Ramaswamy is able to pull from his personal funds, and as one of the world's youngest billionaires, this gives him an advantage. He's also the only candidate on the GOP stage that has consistently stood with Trump against the DOJ, and has praised him as the best president of the 21st century.

While the Wall Street Journal reported GOP donors would be more quiet during this year's presidential race than in past years, they also reported that these same donors would be able to free up those funds and put them toward winning control of the US Senate. 

Donors like Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, Oklahoma's Joe Ricketts and Stephen Schwarzman give money to campaigns through the intermediary of their super PACs. Many other big donors, like Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, have been giving money to DeSantis campaign and to the super PACs that support him, as has Robert Bigelow.

These donors, and others, are trying to figure out the best way to spend their money to oppose Trump, but with no clear second choice emerging, and little chance for a second choice to overtake Trump, the money is not coalescing around a rival.

Trump raised about the same amount as Joe Biden during the third quarter, and that was an increase in his fundraising. Small donors, giving less than $50 each, gave a combined $2 million to Trump's campaign after his Fulton County mugshot was released in August. Trump's spending, too, is less than DeSantis, who is his closet GOP rival, although he comes in at a far second.

Trump has not participated in any of the debates held by the RNC, which showed a chaotic field all clamoring to compete with a man who didn't even need to show up to be declared the winner. With his experience in the White House, Trump has been able to weigh in with authority on global issues, the state of the United States, and the issues facing the country under Joe Biden's leadership.

The next GOP debate is to be held by the RNC in Florida on November 8.
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