Greater than two-thirds of Ron DeSantis’s donations have come from people who’ve maxed out their contributions and can’t donate once more to his main marketing campaign, elevating questions concerning the sustainability of the Florida governor’s problem to Donald Trump.
Whereas DeSantis introduced in a sizeable $20.1mn within the second quarter, in response to the most recent marketing campaign finance disclosures, simply 15 per cent of his donations got here from small donors. Greater than two-thirds got here from deep-pocketed contributors who’ve reached the restrict of how a lot they can provide.
The fundraising figures, contained in filings made to the Federal Election Fee on Saturday, come because the DeSantis marketing campaign has struggled to realize traction since he entered the race in late Could.
DeSantis, 44, was broadly seen because the candidate greatest positioned to problem Trump for the Republican celebration’s nomination for president. His political inventory rose sharply after final 12 months’s midterm elections, when he gained re-election in Florida by a close to 20-point margin. However DeSantis has since fallen in nationwide opinion polls.
In response to the most recent FiveThirtyEight common, Trump has the assist of just below half of Republican main voters, whereas DeSantis trails in a distant second on 21 per cent. Different candidates — together with Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley — are polling within the single digits.
The newest fundraising figures elevate recent questions concerning the DeSantis marketing campaign operation.
The $20.1mn haul places him in second place by way of whole receipts behind Trump. But round $17mn of that got here from donors who contributed at the least $200, whereas solely $2.9mn got here from those that gave lower than that sum. Marketing campaign consultants usually look to the share of small-dollar donors as a sign of a candidate’s grassroots assist.
Almost $14mn of the donations got here from donors who had hit the authorized restrict for contributions to the DeSantis main marketing campaign. Below present federal legal guidelines, people can donate a most of $3,300 to a main marketing campaign and the identical quantity once more to a normal election marketing campaign ought to DeSantis change into the Republican nominee.
DeSantis is anticipated to court docket extra rich donors subsequent week, with a fundraiser within the Hamptons on Thursday. The Florida governor can be set to make marketing campaign stops in South Carolina, a key early voting state, within the coming days.
The newest FEC filings additionally present the DeSantis marketing campaign spent $7.8mn within the second quarter, with round $1mn spent on payroll-related bills for practically 100 folks on the marketing campaign’s employees. Politico first reported on the weekend that DeSantis had fired “fewer than 10” staffers in current days.
DeSantis completed the quarter with $12.2mn money available. That compares to Trump, who had $22.5mn within the financial institution, and Tim Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina, who ended the quarter with $21.1mn money available.
Ramaswamy, who has an estimated internet price of greater than $500mn, ended the quarter with $9mn within the financial institution after loaning $15.3mn of his personal cash to his marketing campaign.
Pence posted disappointing fundraising figures, with $1.2mn in receipts. Nevertheless, he appeared to function on a shoestring funds and spent lower than $75,000 within the second quarter, ending the interval with $1.1mn money available.
Chris Christie, the previous governor of New Jersey, confirmed an analogous spending sample. Christie raised $1.7mn however spent simply $66,000 within the second quarter, ending the interval with $1.6mn within the financial institution.
The newest FEC filings don’t embrace detailed accounting of funds raised by political motion committees which might be in a position to elevate cash for candidates with fewer restrictions. The tremendous Pacs are required to file paperwork with the FEC on the finish of July.
These filings are anticipated to shed extra gentle on the candidates’ campaigning apparatuses. The DeSantis marketing campaign has leaned closely on By no means Again Down, the tremendous Pac supporting his run which mentioned earlier this month that it had raised $130mn within the 12 months up to now.
The Trump workforce has additionally relied closely on tremendous Pac assist. It has reported $36mn within the 12 months up to now, however practically all of that was the results of transfers from Save America, his joint fundraising committee.
DeSantis pushed again on the suggestion that his fundraising figures have been disappointing, telling Fox Information Channel on Sunday: “We have been 5 and a half weeks as a candidate within the second quarter for fundraising. We raised more cash than Joe Biden did within the second quarter, who’s the sitting president, and we raised more cash than Donald Trump did into his marketing campaign.”
The Biden marketing campaign mentioned on Friday that, along with the Democratic Nationwide Committee, it had raised $72mn within the second quarter to spend on the president’s re-election bid. Nevertheless, the FEC filings on the weekend confirmed that round $20mn of that haul was introduced in by the Biden marketing campaign, with the majority of the cash being funnelled by the DNC.