Former President Donald Trump’s fundraising has drastically slowed in recent months, according to a report Friday from WinRed, the Republican donation processing portal.
While his name and image continue to dominate the Republican Party, his grip on voters appears to be loosening. The first half of 2022 was the first time since he left office 18 months ago that Trump’s fundraising in a six-month period failed to exceed $50 million, The Washington Post reported.
This decline starkly contrasts with the fundraising growth of other Republican candidates — such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The report revealed Trump’s political action committees raised $18 million between April and June, which was about $2 million less than in the three months before, according to Reuters. For seven of the last nine months, Trump’s fundraising among both small and large donors has notably ebbed.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich, however, appears to be in possession of alternative facts.
“He is not only raising money at an unparalleled pace, but he is investing in America First candidates and continuing to grow that MAGA movement into 2022 and beyond,” Budowich said in a statement, adding that “any suggestion otherwise is just a tired case of bias narrative peddling by the Fake News.”
“Having campaigned and fundraised for President Trump since 2015, there has been no stronger support and interest for him that there is today,” added Ed McMullen, former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland under Trump and the South Carolina state director of Trump’s 2016 campaign. “President Trump’s popularity and fundraising continues to grow and thrive at every level.”
The facts suggest otherwise, however. Last year, Trump raised more than $56 million in online donations during the first six months. He raised $51 million from July through December, and has currently brought in only $36 million in 2022. This puts Trump behind DeSantis, who raised $45 million this year.
Despite donations from large entities slowing, Trump’s online take from small donors remain substantial. This is despite the House’s hearings into the Jan. 6 insurrection and allegations that Trump lied to his base about a supposed war chest that would be used to pursue his debunked election fraud claims.
DeSantis, meanwhile, has received backing from some of the most affluent Republican megadonors, including Ken Griffin, a hedge fund manager who vowed to move his Citadel company from Chicago to Miami.
According to a June poll from the University of New Hampshire, DeSantis even had more support among likely Republican voters for the state’s 2024 presidential primary than Trump. DeSantis, Trump’s primary competitor for nomination, also has a war chest about as big as Trump’s.
While donations are slowing, Trump’s brand remains popular. Earlier this month, the disgraced former president used his Save America PAC to threaten legal action against Republican senators using his name and image to raise funds of their own, according to The Washington Post.
This speaks to Trump’s enduring appeal in the GOP despite the onslaught of investigations and lawsuits.
“The entire fundraising apparatus in the Republican Party revolves around President Trump,” Caroline Wren, a GOP fundraiser and loyalist who helped organize the Jan. 6 rally, told the Post.
Wren said numerous candidates and party committees “rely on President Trump’s name for their low-dollar fundraising efforts” and praised him for “selflessly” raising millions for “America First” candidates and related organizations.
While Trump has tried to save his contributions until the time to announce his potential candidacy arises, an unnamed source close to the PAC told the Post his spending skyrocketed in June. Those expenditures are rooted in legal bills related to the Jan. 6 investigation and financial support for loyal candidates, the person said.
The source also revealed that the Save America PAC amassed $112 million by the end of June, which would represent a net gain of only $11 million from May.
While the Save America PAC’s June report isn’t due to the Federal Election Commission until July 20, earlier filings reported by the Post show that the PAC spent $6 million to elevate candidates in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate and Georgia gubernatorial primaries whom Trump personally preferred — including TV personality Mehmet Oz.
As it stands, Trump and DeSantis currently remain the Republican front-runners as the November midterms approach. While Trump has only hinted at another presidential run and has yet to officially announce his candidacy, a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from June 7 to June 8 suggests a quarter of Republicans hope he doesn’t.
“There is definitely Trump fatigue,” Mike DuHaime, a Republican strategist, told Reuters. “Donors care about future elections, not past elections.”