As the race for the White House heats up, the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) offer an insight into the finances shaping the 2024 presidential election. With candidates from both major parties and several independents vying for attention and support, these end-of-year reports let us see who’s thriving and who’s struggling as the campaign heats up.
Biden’s Fundraising Lead
Leading the pack in fundraising is President Joe Biden, whose reelection campaign racked up the highest totals during the fourth fundraising quarter of 2023.
Biden’s campaign brought in a massive $33 million, leaving him with an impressive war chest of around $46 million as the election year began.
Future Forward Boosts Biden’s Campaign
Democratic Party-aligned super PAC Future Forward further strengthened the financial standing of the Biden camp.
They filed a report stating they’d made $25.2 million, with an outgoing $1.4 million.
Trump’s Fundraising Resilience
Close behind Biden is former President Donald Trump, a familiar force in American politics.
Despite facing legal challenges and controversies, Trump’s White House bid garnered significant financial support, with $19.1 million raised during the fourth quarter.
Significant Expenditures from Trump’s Campaign
However, Trump’s campaign also reported notable expenditures, totaling $23.6 million, leaving him with over $33 million in cash reserves heading into the new year.
MAGA Inc.’s Financial Support
Supporting Trump’s campaign is MAGA Inc., the primary super PAC associated with his presidential aspirations.
In the second half of 2023, MAGA Inc. raised a sum of $47.8 million in funding, offset by significant expenses of $55.4 million.
A Loyal Base
Despite the high expenditures, the super PAC ended the year with $23.3 million in reserves, indicating continued support from Trump’s loyal base.
Small-Dollar Donor Support for Trump
Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, attributed the fundraising success to the support of small-dollar donors across the nation who are disillusioned with what she described as “Crooked Joe Biden’s record-high inflation, wide open border, crime, and chaos.”
A Strong Fourth Quarter for Haley
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign gave a strong fourth-quarter fundraising performance, raising $17.3 million.
Marred By High Spending
Despite her campaign’s fundraising success, concerns have arisen within Haley’s camp due to their reported expenditures – $14.3 million during the fourth quarter period.
While she is trailing behind Biden and Trump in fundraising, Haley’s campaign has amassed a decent $14.6 million as the election year began.
Challenges for SFA Fund Inc.
Haley’s campaign is bolstered by SFA Fund Inc., a super PAC dedicated to supporting her presidential bid.
Despite raising $50.2 million during the second half of 2023, the super PAC spent a wild $63.7 million.
With only $3.5 million in reserves by the year’s end, SFA Fund Inc. has a tough challenge in sustaining momentum for Haley’s campaign.
Critiquing Trump’s Candidacy
Nachama Soloveichik, communications director for Haley’s campaign, seized the opportunity to critique Trump’s candidacy, highlighting perceived vulnerabilities that could undermine Republican prospects in the general election.
The Weakest Option?
“If you put in a factory order for the worst general election candidate ever, you couldn’t dream up a weaker option than Donald Trump,” Soloveichik remarked.
Financial Insights on Other Contenders
The FEC filings also shed light on other contenders in the presidential race.
Grassroots Support for Marianne Williamson
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota reported raising $5 million since launching his campaign, while self-help author Marianne Williamson bought in $1.3 million purely through grassroots support.
Campaign Finances of Independent Candidates
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., now running as an independent, raised $7 million in the final quarter of 2023, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein brought in approximately $119,600 during the same period.
Analyzing End-of-Year Reports
These end-of-year reports provide an extremely interesting insight into the financial health and fundraising capabilities of the presidential campaigns.
Strategic Spending by Trump
Trump’s strategic spending is obvious, especially with MAGA Inc.’s robust fundraising. Haley, on the other hand, faces an uphill battle due to the financial constraints in her super PAC.
Biden’s Strong Financial Position
As Trump leads in battleground polls, the race intensifies, with Biden maintaining a strong financial position.
The Importance of Finances
The financial strength of these candidates’ campaigns will play a crucial role in determining their viability and endurance in the race.
With the election cycle in full swing, candidates are facing mounting pressure to balance strong fundraising efforts with strategic financial management.
Uncertainties in the Road to the White House
The road to the White House remains fraught with uncertainties and challenges, and in the upcoming months, there will likely be more intense campaigning and competitiveness as candidates work to secure victory in November.
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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.