Trump Holds Big Fundraising Lead Over GOP Field
ADEL, IOWA - OCTOBER 16: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump finishes a campaign event at the Dallas County Fairgrounds on October 16, 2023 in Adel, Iowa. Trump is also scheduled to speak at a rally in nearby Clive later in the afternoon. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Presidential campaigns filed quarterly financial reports on Sunday, indicating who is gaining ground and losing it in the money race.

Former President Donald Trump, along with his lead in the polls, remains significantly ahead in fundraising as well. The Trump campaign reported raising $24.5 million from the start of July through the end of September – about twice as much as any other GOP candidate. Trump also finished the quarter with an advantage in cash on hand with nearly $38 million.

President Joe Biden brought in nearly $25 million and ramped up spending to almost $13 million after spending just over $1 million the quarter before. The spending binge came at a time when his poll numbers have sagged over key issues such as immigration, the economy, and crime. Biden finished the quarter with more than $32 million cash on hand.

In the rest of the GOP field following Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley are competing for second. DeSantis raised $15 million between his various fundraising committees in the third quarter. But he may be strapped for cash as the primary elections draw closer.

The DeSantis campaign reported only $5 million available in his war chest for the primaries and $1 million in outstanding debt. The rest of his $12 million cash on hand is earmarked for the general.

Haley raised $11 million over the past three months and has nearly $12 million cash on hand. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott reported the second-most cash on hand, about $13 million, but was also a big spender in the third quarter, reporting more than $12 million in expenses. Scott’s political action committee, Trust in Mission PAC, has canceled $40 million in fall ads as Scott has failed to move in the polls. The PAC told donors it would restart spending as the primary elections draw closer.


Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy reported $4.2 million cash on hand. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended September with nearly $4 million cash on hand. Vice President Mike Pence reported just $1.2 million cash on hand and about $600,000 in unpaid debts.

North Dakota’s independently wealthy governor, Doug Burgum, finished September with about $2.3 million cash on hand. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s campaign reported having about $325,000.

In addition to Trump’s lead in fundraising, some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors are reportedly closing their wallets until the former president shows some vulnerability in the primary. Top donors such as Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, Joe Ricketts, and Stephen Schwarzman are hesitant to continue backing alternative candidates in the primary, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s becoming clear the cavalry’s not coming,” longtime GOP strategist Ken Spain told 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.”

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