Winners and losers from the second fundraising quarter

Winners and losers from the second fundraising quarter | The Hill

The end of the second fundraising quarter marks a new glimpse into how campaigns are faring ahead of November’s high-stakes elections.

Most of the Republican presidential hopefuls and President Biden had not yet officially declared their candidacies by the end of the first quarter in March. Campaigns had two weeks past the end of the second quarter to report their contributions to the Federal Elections Commission. 

Here are the winners and losers from the second fundraising quarter of 2023: 


Joe Biden 

President Biden’s fundraising numbers are more than double that of former President Trump and any other candidate, giving him a majorly successful second quarter and first few months of his reelection bid. 

Biden’s reelection campaign raised $72 million in the second quarter, an impressive total for a candidate whose polls have shown voters do not want him to run for reelection. The campaign said Biden also has $77 million in cash on hand, which it said was the most “amassed by a Democrat at any comparable point in history.” 

Doubts have swirled around Biden’s candidacy since before he jumped into race, with his favorability rating mostly staying in the low 40s and concerns about his age and mental acuity. But his fundraising numbers might be telling a different story among voters.

The campaign said nearly 400,000 donors made 670,000 donations across all entities, including the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising committees. It said 30 percent of all donors did donate to Biden’s campaign in 2020. 

“While Republicans are burning through resources in a divisive primary focused on who can take the most extreme MAGA positions, we are significantly outraising every single one of them — because our team’s strength is our grassroots supporters,” campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said. 

Donald Trump 

Former President Trump is easily the biggest GOP winner in the fundraising quarter and the primary race so far. 

His campaign and super PAC raked in more than $35 million during the second quarter, significantly more overall than any other Republican candidate. That is about double what his joint fundraising committee, made up of his campaign and super PAC, raised during the first quarter. 

Trump has also consistently led the pack of GOP challengers for the nomination by double digits, and his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been unable to close in on the former president. 

Both of these developments come as Trump became the first former president to be criminally charged on the state and federal level

Democrats in competitive Senate races 

Many Democrats running in what are expected to be competitive Senate races brought in millions of dollars in donations this quarter. 

The party is facing a steep 2024 Senate election map that gives more pickup opportunities to Republicans than Democrats as the GOP will try to retake the upper chamber. 

Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are likely two of the most significant targets for the GOP, with both representing states that voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. But Tester raised $5 million, his best second-quarter fundraising total ever in a nonelection year, and Brown brought in the same

Other incumbent Democrats running for reelection in battleground states raised millions.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey received $4 million, the most in a fundraising quarter in his career, while Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin raised $3.2 million, the most in a Wisconsin Senate race in a nonelection year. 

Democratic challengers trying to win a Senate seat for the first time also put up big numbers.

Rep. Colin Allred (Texas) raised nearly $6.2 million in his race to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in just the first two months of his campaign, much more than Cruz’s 2018 Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, had at this time in his candidacy. 

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is running to oust Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who was elected in 2018 as a Democrat but became an independent. Sinema has not announced whether she will run for reelection yet, but Gallego took in $3.1 million this quarter, adding to $3.7 million from the first quarter. 

Ron DeSantis 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised an impressive $20 million for his campaign while only formally being a candidate for six weeks before the second quarter ended. His campaign said that is the largest filing for a non-incumbent Republican candidate in the first quarter of their candidacy in more than a decade. 

The super PAC supporting DeSantis, Never Back Down, also told Fox News it raised $130 million since the committee launched in March. 

DeSantis is the only GOP presidential candidate whose fundraising keeps close to Trump’s, but some parts of his fundraising numbers and recent polling could give him reasons to be concerned. 

Never Back Down’s fundraising total is significantly higher than that of any other GOP candidate’s super PAC, but almost two-thirds — $82.5 million — was transferred from his state political committee last month. 

Donations to DeSantis surged in the first 24 hours after he announced his run, with his campaign raising $8.2 million. But that’s 40 percent of his total over the course of six weeks, and his pace of fundraising has slowed. 

The governor has also struggled to make gains on the former president in the polls. Republican strategists have expressed concerns about his viability to defeat Trump. 

Joe Manchin 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has not officially decided whether he will run for a third term in the Senate, but he brought in more than either of his two potential major GOP opponents for the seat, raising $1.3 million in quarter two. 

The super PAC affiliated with him as a candidate, Country Roads PAC, added on $400,000 from the past quarter. Those figures brought his cash on hand up to $10.7 million and his super PAC’s money in the bank to $2.2 million. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) appears to be the early front-runner for the Republican nomination, but he fell short of Manchin’s total by a few hundred thousand dollars, only receiving about $935,000. Manchin significantly outpaced Rep. Alex Mooney (R), who raised $550,000. 

Manchin has also refused to rule out running as a third-party candidate for president, a possibility that has concerned some Democrats who would view it as a spoiler for Biden’s reelection chances. He has signaled he will decide about running for reelection by the end of the year. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 

The Democratic challenger to Biden and anti-vaccine activist’s fundraising total was not close to Biden’s, but he raked in $6.3 million, a notable achievement for a candidate widely seen as a long shot to win the nomination. 

That includes $3 million that the campaign raised over a three-day period to close out the second quarter from June 28-30. 

The Biden campaign has thus far not directly engaged with Kennedy and is unlikely to meet for a debate with him, but Kennedy has performed better in the first few months of his candidacy than some observers might have expected. 

While Democratic voters have overwhelmingly indicated that they back Biden, Kennedy has still received as much as double-digit support over a couple of months, possibly demonstrating his candidacy will not fade as quickly as Biden’s campaign may hope. 


Other 2024 GOP candidates 

While Trump and DeSantis had widely successful quarters, many of the other candidates running for the GOP nomination had comparatively disappointing fundraising totals. 

DeSantis has been unable to top Trump in the polls, but no candidate has been able to surpass DeSantis for second place, either. They also were unable to pass his position as the second-highest GOP fundraiser this quarter. 

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has been among the higher-performing candidates in polls, raised $7.3 million for her campaign, much lower than Trump and DeSantis. Her super PAC brought in $18.7 million, and super PACs are not subject to limits on contributions from individuals and companies. 

Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) campaign brought in less, $6.1 million. The super PAC supporting him brought in $19.28 million. 

Haley and Scott both highlighted that they reached the fundraising requirements needed to qualify for the first GOP primary debate next month, as did former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence brought in a modest $1.2 million for his campaign in its first three weeks, while the super PAC supporting him raised $2.6 million. 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who has polled near the bottom of the pack, raised $11.7 million in the three weeks of his campaign before the end of the second quarter, but more than $10 million of that was a loan from his own money. 

Marianne Williamson 

While Kennedy has outperformed expectations in his primary challenge to Biden, the other notable Democratic challenger has struggled for months to gain traction and experienced internal chaos in her campaign. 

Politico reported Thursday that Williamson told campaign volunteers in a Zoom call she does not have the funds she needs to continue the campaign at its current trend and desperately needs additional financial support. 

“I have put my own money in, and I don’t have the money to continue putting it in at the level I have,” she said. “Cause remember, I’m not making a living while I’m doing this.” 

The outlet reported she blamed media outlets’ focus on her campaign’s reshuffling and her political opponents trying to sabotage her campaign. 

Through four months of campaigning, Williamson has lost two campaign managers and appointed her third at the end of last month. Her campaign has experienced multiple rounds of staffers exiting, most recently last week. 

A spokesperson for the campaign told The Hill at the time that it was “restructuring” the campaign.

George Santos 

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has been the subject of intense controversy throughout his time in Congress over the false statements he made about himself during his candidacy and the local and federal criminal allegations against him. 

The embattled congressman, who has said he is running for reelection despite the charges he is facing, raised $133,000 during the second quarter, adding on to the roughly $25,000 he had at the start of the quarter.

But he will not be able to use much of that on his reelection campaign — $85,000 of his funds went to repaying him for loans he made to previous campaigns he ran.

That left him with just about $55,000 cash on hand at the end of the quarter. The Democratic and Republican challengers running for Santos’s seat, meanwhile, put up donation figures in the six digits.

Tags 2024 elections 2024 GOP presidential primary 2024 presidential election campaign fundraising Colin Allred Donald Trump Joe Biden Ron DeSantis

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