At present, former President Donald Trump is the presumptive, (and only), Republican nominee for President in 2024, but there is little doubt that his solitude will be fading shortly.
There are a number of very likely candidates still waiting in the wings, predicating their decision and announcement timelines on a number of factors – including whether or not the Department of Justice decides to pursue charges against the former Commander in Chief.
With his 2024 presidential candidacy officially kicked into gear, Donald Trump would seem poised to enter the Republican nomination race a step ahead: his Pacs and committees boast a war chest of about $95m, enough to give pause to the Republican candidates jockeying against him.
But a scratch beneath the surface reveals a different reality. About $78m of the $95m cannot be directly used for Trump’s campaign, according to a Guardian analysis of the Trump fundraising web.Trending:
What’s more, there’s evidence the small-dollar donor stream that fueled his past runs is drying up. Some high-profile mega-donors have fled. And a campaign finance watchdog has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over Trump allegedly violating “soft money” laws as he appears to play a shell game with his cash.
Some experts were certain of Trump’s trouble.
“There are a lot of moving parts, but there are a lot of reasons to believe that Trump is struggling more than he has in recent years to raise money,” said Robert Maguire, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Trump was also losing a number of megadonors as well.
Among those defecting from Trump’s large-donor battalion are his top 2016 contributors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, CNBC reported. The billionaires have instead donated to his likely primary rival, the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis.
The hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who threw around $67m in the midterms, has also backed DeSantis: “I’d like to think that the Republican party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser,” Griffin told Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in September.
Meanwhile, Blackstone financier and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who spent $34m in the midterms, expressed a similar sentiment.Advertisement - story continues below
“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Schwarzman said in a statement. “It is time for the Republican party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
Trump has already begun publicly feuding with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on account of his likely bid for the presidency, with the former President suggesting that he may hold some “unflattering” information about the Sunshine State lawmaker.