Vivek Ramaswamy (1)

Three Surprises About GOP Candidate Fundraising as They Prepare for Next Quarter

As much as most of us hate to admit, money plays a very big role in the potential of a campaign to do well. It’s never a guarantee; some huge fundraising candidates have failed miserably while some with limited funds have flourished. Lest we forget, the most money ever raised by a non-presidential candidate was Francis Beta O’Rourke’s failed senatorial campaign.

But money still plays a major role, which is why a lot of attention is being paid to the amounts raised by Republicans running for president. Here’s an article by Mary Lou Masters at Daily Caller News Foundation with the details followed by my commentary about the three things that surprised me…

Here’s How Much Campaign Cash 2024 GOP Candidates Have Going Into The Next Fundraising Quarter

  • Presidential candidates filed their second quarter fundraising totals with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Saturday, providing a glimpse into the financial strength of the Republican 2024 hopefuls.
  • While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reported more total receipts than former President Donald Trump, the former president ended Q2 with more cash on hand, followed by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, according to the FEC filings.
  • “The most important number is cash on hand, minus debt,” Mike Murphy, a GOP strategist, previously told The New York Times. “You see how much financial firepower they actually have.”

Presidential candidates filed their second quarter totals on Saturday, which provided a glimpse into how much hard cash the 2024 GOP hopefuls have heading into the third fundraising period.

Candidates had until the end of day Saturday to file their Q2 totals with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump reporting the highest receipts among the crowded field of GOP contenders. The cash on hand totals provided a clearer picture as to how many hard dollars the respective campaigns have going into the fall, and indicated South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott sits just behind the former president, according to the FEC filings.

“The most important number is cash on hand, minus debt,” Mike Murphy, a GOP strategist, previously told The New York Times. “You see how much financial firepower they actually have.”

The former president’s campaign previously announced a total of $35 million combined with his joint fundraising committee, Save America PAC. Trump’s campaign raised $17.7 million during his campaign’s third fundraising quarter, but reported over $22 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing.

The candidates’ second quarter fundraising totals aren’t fully known, as super PACs aligned with the presidential candidates have until the end of the month to report their Q2 totals. The total of individual contributors are also not included in the candidates’ second quarter filings, which is a crucial factor in making the debate stage in August by meeting the Republican National Committee’s 40,000 unique donor threshold.

Scott’s campaign brought in nearly $6 million in his first quarter as a presidential candidate and followed Trump’s haul with over $21 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. The senator’s campaign, combined with Trust In The Mission PAC, previously reported raising approximately $25.4 million during Q2.

DeSantis’ campaign raked in over $20 million since his late May campaign launch and ended the second quarter with $12.2 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Super PAC Never Back Down previously announced that, combined with the campaign, the governor had mounted $150 million.

Conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy raised $7.7 million and ended his second quarter as a presidential candidate with $9 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley brought in $5.3 million during the second quarter of her campaign and will enter the third quarter with nearly $7 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Haley’s campaign, combined with aligned super PAC SFA Fund Inc., previously announced they raised $26 million during Q2.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum raised $11.7 million since his early June presidential launch and ended the second quarter with approximately $3.7 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. The governor gave his own campaign approximately $10.2 million and raised $1.5 million from outside contributors.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brought in $1.65 million since his early June campaign launch and has $1.59 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing.

Former Vice President Mike Pence garnered nearly $1.2 million since launching his campaign in early June and he ended the second fundraising quarter with nearly $1.1 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Pence and super PAC Committed to America previously reported to raise a combined $3.85 million during his first fundraising quarter.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez raised just under $1 million since his mid-June presidential launch and reported $898,850 cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Suarez previously announced that his campaign and aligned super PACs garnered $13.6 million in the second quarter.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson raised just $582,521 since his early April campaign launch and has $378,677 cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd garnered $273,512 during the first few weeks of his presidential campaign and ended the second quarter with $245,118 cash on hand, the filing showed.

Conservative radio personality Larry Elder brought in $15,603 since his late April presidential announcement and reported $9,171 cash on hand, according to his filing.

President Joe Biden raked in approximately $19.87 million during the first quarter of his reelection campaign and ended it with $20 million cash on hand, according to the FEC filing. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. raised nearly $6.4 million and Marianne Williamson raised just under $1 million, and their campaigns reported $4.5 million and $104,990 cash on hand, respectively, the documents show.

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Three Surprises

There isn’t a lot to question here. Most of what we’re seeing is pretty predictable. Donald Trump’s supporters love him enough to donate. Asa Hutchinson doesn’t have the name recognition to get enough money to be taken seriously. Joe Biden is using the left’s donation-filtering-scam to fill his coffers. All expected.

Here’s what I didn’t expect…

  • Mike Pence Is Barely Ahead of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez: It’s no secret that I don’t like Mike Pence and I’m glad to see him having troubles, but I had no idea how many other people agree with me. $1.2 million is pitiful, and while some may point out he declared late, so did Francis Suarez who’s barely behind him.
  • Ron DeSantis Is PAC Driven: This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me if I had been paying closer attention. It was announced that he had raised $150 million and sadly I didn’t pay attention to the story. Now that I see only $20 million came to his campaign directly, it’s far less impressive that he raised so much from mega-donors to his PAC. Don’t get me wrong. $20 million is still very impressive, but it’s not like he’s blowing away the competition with small donors. He’s being propped up heavily by his PAC, which isn’t a good sign for his prospects.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy Is the Dark Horse: I would argue that there’s Donald Trump, and then there are the “backup” candidates in case Democrats and the Deep State can somehow get Trump out of the race. What surprises me is that Ramaswamy is raising so much money… and eyebrows. And he’s doing it without attacking Trump. Considering two years ago Republicans hadn’t heard of him, it’s amazing that he’s doing better than known players like Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, and the aforementioned Pence.

The nomination seems to be Trump’s unless he’s artificially knocked out. There’s still a lot of time for things to change but it appears the rest of the candidates are either vying for a cabinet position or hoping that legal manipulation by Democrats can compel Trump to leave the race.

What do you think? Sound off on my Substack.