By Naveen Athrappully
Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden when it comes to funds raised through small-dollar donations, suggesting that the GOP candidate has stronger support at the grassroots level for the 2024 presidential election.
Mr. Trump’s principal campaign committee raised over $32 million in the first six months of 2023, out of which more than $14 million came from donations $200 or under, which is the smallest donation tracked in the Federal Election Commission (FEC) data. Small donations made up over 43 percent of Trump campaign receipts. In contrast, out of the more than $19 million raised by Mr. Biden’s principal campaign committee during this period, only $5.9 million, or close to 30 percent, came from small donations.
Nearly 48 percent of the Biden campaign’s receipts come from donations of $1,000 and above, with donations higher than $2,000 accounting for almost 40 percent. In contrast, donations of $1,000 or above only make up just over 6 percent of the Trump campaign’s receipts.
The numbers clearly show Mr. Trump leading in terms of small donations, which usually come from typical everyday Americans.
On the other hand, the Biden campaign is largely raising money from wealthy donors.
These numbers are only based on the principal campaign committee fundraising. Candidates have other fundraising groups raising donations for their presidential runs.
Among other GOP presidential candidates, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ principal campaign committee raised over $20 million until June-end, out of which donations of $200 and under only made up $3.25 million or roughly 16 percent of the total.
For Vivek Ramaswamy, who raised over $19 million, only $1.86 million came from donations of $200 and below. Out of the $10.4 million raised by Nikki Haley, $3.4 million were from small donations.
Trump Fundraising, Top Fundraising Candidates
Earlier this month, the Trump campaign announced that the former president raised over $35 million in Q2 for his second White House bid. This was almost double the $18.8 million that the campaign raised during the first quarter of the year.
During a June 10 rally in Atlanta, Mr. Trump said that his popularity and fundraising had surged post indictment by the Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Jack Smith. The indictment is in connection to the investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified documents.
“As far as this joke of an indictment, it’s a horrible thing. It’s a horrible thing for this country … I mean, the only good thing about it is it’s driven my poll numbers way up. Can you believe it?” Mr. Trump said.
“And somebody said the fundraising is through the roof. That’s less important. But I will tell you, it’s really driven us right through the sky. We’re really winning big. We’re winning over everyone—we’re beating the hell out of the Republicans, and we’re beating the hell out of Joe Biden.”
According to FEC data, 2024 presidential candidates have raised a total of over $184 million, with Republicans leading with $143 million and Democrats raising $40 million.
Mr. Trump was the top candidate, having raised over $35 million. He was followed by Mr. Biden with more than $31 million, Mr. DeSantis with $20 million, Republican John Anthony Castro with $20 million, and Mr. Ramaswamy with just over $19 million.
Other Republicans in the top 10 were Nikki Haley, Doug Burgum, Perry Johnson, and Timothy Scott. After Mr. Biden, the only other Democrat in the top ten was Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who raised $6.3 million.
Republican Candidate Debate
Meanwhile, the first GOP presidential debate is scheduled to take place next month on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee. Six candidates appear to have met the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) requirements to participate in the debate.
The candidates are Mr. Trump, Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Ramaswamy, Ms. Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. Mr. Trump has suggested that he might skip the debate that is set to be hosted by Fox News.
Within the GOP, DeSantis is the closest rival to Trump for nomination. Earlier this month, Steve Cortes, a top spokesperson for DeSantis’ Super PAC, admitted that defeating Trump would be a difficult task.
“Right now in national polling, we are way behind, I’ll be the first to admit that,” Cortes said in a July 3 Twitter spaces event. “I believe in being blunt and really honest. It’s an uphill battle. I don’t think it is an unwinnable battle by any stretch. But clearly, Donald Trump is the runaway frontrunner, particularly since the indictments.”
Cortes said that DeSantis is not as well-known as Trump. “A lot of regular Americans” outside Florida do not know much about DeSantis, he said.
“Whereas, knowledge of Donald Trump is ubiquitous. He’s literally the most recognized and known personality in the world, certainly in America. So, given that, it’s not surprising that we’re right now chasing.”
In a video address back in March, Trump had promised to bring back the country’s boldness “in a very big way” and herald a “quantum leap” in living standards once he becomes president. This includes plans to build new cities, boost manufacturing, and lower the cost of living.