Oct 18, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump dominates 2024 GOP cash race

Data: Federal Election Commission; Note: Includes the 7 candidates who qualified for and took part in the last GOP debate and former President Trump; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Federal Election Commission; Note: Includes the 7 candidates who qualified for and took part in the last GOP debate and former President Trump; Chart: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump entered October with nearly triple as much cash on hand as any of his Republican rivals, according to his public filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Why it matters: Trump's robust campaign war chest underscores the tough path forward for GOP rivals vying to puncture his commanding lead.

  • Nearly 37% of all of the money brought in by the Republican 2024 candidates who qualified for the Septemeber debate went to Trump, according to FEC filings.

Driving the news: Trump also maintains a strong grassroots edge over his GOP rivals, with the majority of his fundraising coming from small-dollar donors, those under $200.

  • Less than 5% of Trump's fundraising came from donors who gave $3,300 to his campaign, the maximum amount they can give during the primary election, according to an NBC News analysis of his FEC filings.

Zoom in: Trump, who faces a mountain of legal woes that are coinciding with his presidential campaign, spent $9.5 million this quarter, which is much less than what was spent by many of his GOP rivals and President Biden

  • The Biden campaign aggressively ramped up its campaign spending this quarter, spending $57 million. The Biden campaign spent just $1.1 million during the previous quarter.
  • The Biden team added $14 million to its cash-on-hand during the third quarter and now has a total of $91 million.
  • Both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen Tim Scott (R-S.C.) also spent aggressively this quarter — $11.1 million and $12.4 million respectively — despite bringing in far less than what the Trump campaign raised.

What we're watching: Trump's third-quarter FEC filing only shows part of his finances — he fundraises through a joint committee, which was not required to report its finances on Sunday.

  • The super PACs supporting the candidates' campaigns will not have to publish their next filings until Jan. 31.
  • In the first half of 2023, Trump-related PACs and the Trump-aligned super PAC spent more than $27 million in legal fees and related expenses, according to a New York Times analysis.

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