In the 2024 presidential race, former President Donald Trump is facing financial challenges despite leading the GOP nomination race. A cash crunch, attributed to legal fees and efforts to secure the Republican nomination by investing against Nikki Haley, has left Trump spending more than he's earned through donations and self-financing.
As the possibility of a 2024 Trump-Biden rematch looms, President Joe Biden's financial position appears strong. Recent finance reports reveal that both Trump's campaign and super PAC spent more than they raised, while Biden's team accumulated reserves.
According to Wednesday's campaign finance records, MAGA Inc., the main super PAC supporting Trump, spent more than it raised in the latter half of 2023. Trump's official campaign also exceeded its income in the last three months of the year. This financial strain aligns with Trump's threats to boycott Republican donors who don't contribute, indicating a pressing need for funds.
In contrast, Biden's campaign concluded the year with $46 million in cash, surpassing Trump's $33 million before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. The super PAC supporting Biden, Flash to the Future, held slightly more funds than MAGA Inc. at $24 million to $23.3 million.
Democrats assert that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are strategically accumulating funds for campaigning, not just legal battles, positioning themselves advantageously.
Despite Trump's legal challenges and financial constraints, he aims to leverage these difficulties for support in the general election. Trump's small-dollar fundraising strategy remains potent, with only 6% coming from donors reaching the $6,600 limit, compared to Biden's 18%.
While Trump's legal woes serve as a rallying point for GOP supporters, they also contribute to campaign funding and hinder potential Republican opponents. Trump's recent arrest in the Georgia election interference case resulted in a $4.2 million online fundraising surge in a single day.
Both Trump and Biden expanded their campaign operations in the last quarter of the year. MAGA Inc. raised $47.8 million, spending $55.4 million, leaving $23.3 million by year-end. Trump's campaign, with a $19.1 million income from October to December, spent $23.6 million, allocating funds for advertising, legal consulting, travel, events, and payroll.
Biden's focused spending on ads, text message outreach, and communications totaled $19.3 million. The advantage of incumbency allows Biden to coordinate fundraising with the Democratic National Committee, which reported $21 million on hand at the year's start.
Despite a significant primary campaign on the GOP side, Trump faces limitations in utilizing the Republican National Committee, officially neutral in the primary but urged by party Chair Ronna McDaniel to unite around Trump as the "eventual nominee."
(With agency inputs)