Friday, May 17, 2024

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Trump Campaign Eclipsed by Biden’s Staggering $192M Warchest

Biden targeted swing states with $29.2 million ad blitz in March, dwarfing Trump's $3.7 million expenditure.

Joe Biden
Photo: Prachatai

As the 2024 presidential election race heats up, the financial disparities between the campaigns of incumbent President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump have become glaringly apparent. Recent filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have made it clear—Trump’s campaign is drowning in legal fees as a result of his various alleged crimes, while Biden’s campaign is amassing a formidable war chest for the grueling battle ahead.

The numbers paint a sobering picture for the Trump camp. At the end of March, the former president’s campaign committee had a war chest of $45 million, a far cry from Biden’s formidable $85.5 million. This financial gap is further compounded by the staggering disparity in spending between the two campaigns. In March alone, Biden’s team unleashed a torrent of advertising, spending a whopping $29.2 million.

campaign spending
Source: New York Times

Despite the staggering expenditures unleashed by President Biden’s campaign, it has still managed to amass a formidable war chest. The latest filings reveal that across his fundraising apparatus, including the deep pockets of the Democratic National Committee, Biden commands a staggering $192.9 million in cash reserves as of March 30th.

Trump Campaign Dragged Down by Legal Bills

On the other hand, Donald Trump’s campaign is grappling with a meager $93.1 million in available funds. This disparity underscores the uphill battle Trump faces in attempting to match Biden’s well-funded machine, which is poised to out gun and outmaneuver the former president’s cash-strapped operation.

The root cause of Trump’s financial struggles lies in the legal quagmires that have engulfed his political machinery. Save America, the leadership PAC controlled by Trump, has been forced to divert a staggering $59.5 million from its coffers to pay for legal fees since the start of 2023. In March alone, the PAC spent nearly $3.7 million on legal consulting, almost matching the entire spending of Trump’s campaign for the month.

At the epicenter of this spending spree lies Trump’s high-stakes New York criminal hush money trial, where a staggering $1.1 million from his leadership PAC, Save America, was funneled to the firms representing him in March alone.

Exacerbating the crisis is the grim reality that Save America’s primary lifeline, the pro-Trump super PAC MAGA Inc., is rapidly running dry. With only $2.75 million left to transfer, the sustainability of funding Trump’s mounting legal battles through this channel is in jeopardy.

While a $5 million refund from MAGA Inc. has temporarily buoyed Save America’s finances, this reprieve is fleeting. The impending depletion of this revenue stream raises urgent alarms about the long-term viability of Trump’s legal defense strategy, which is bleeding his campaign coffers at an alarming rate.

While the pro-Trump super PAC MAGA Inc. raised an impressive $14.4 million in March, buoyed by massive donations from wealthy allies like Linda McMahon and Nevada real estate mogul Robert T. Bigelow, this influx of cash cannot mask the underlying financial vulnerabilities plaguing Trump’s campaign.

The $5 million transfer from MAGA Inc. to Save America, part of a larger refund to the committee over the past year, underscores the extent to which Trump’s legal battles are cannibalizing his campaign’s financial reserves. 

Biden Continues Prolific Fundraising

In stark contrast, Biden’s well-funded campaign is firing on all cylinders. His campaign’s March expenditure of $29.2 million dwarfed Trump’s paltry $3.7 million, with a significant portion dedicated to an aggressive advertising blitz across key swing states. 

Moreover, Biden’s financial dominance extends beyond his own campaign, with the Democratic National Committee boasting $45 million in cash reserves, more than double the $21 million held by the Republican National Committee. This imbalance could have far-reaching implications for the presidential race and down ballet candidates as well.

The disparity in financial might is further compounded by the presence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy’s campaign, bolstered by a $2 million contribution from his running mate Nicole Shanahan, raised $5.4 million in March alone. While his overall fundraising efforts have yet to match those of the two major parties, Kennedy’s presence could be pulling away money that would have gone to Trump.

As the campaign trail intensifies, the financial realities facing the candidates are becoming increasingly apparent. Biden’s well-funded operation is poised to out muscle Trump’s cash-strapped campaign, which is being weighed down by the legal fees of a candidate who has been indicted in four separate jurisdictions. The once-formidable Trump fundraising machine appears to be sputtering, with his leadership PAC rapidly depleting its resources to keep his legal defense afloat.