The contours of the 2024 presidential election keep taking shape.
Democrats keep getting blindsided as events continue to not play out like the left expected.
And Donald Trump hit Joe Biden with a nasty curveball that is about to change everything.
At the outset of the 2024 GOP presidential campaign, major Republican donors were lining up behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In his first campaign finance report as a presidential candidate DeSantis raised $20 million, $14 million of which came from donors who donated the legal maximum of $3,300.
DeSantis-allied super PAC Never Back Down hauled in a record $130 million.
The DeSantis campaign’s reliance on big-money donors backfired as once those contributors gave the legal maximum DeSantis couldn’t tap them again.
DeSantis raised almost no money from the grassroots – low-dollar donors are Trump’s base – so when the fundraising numbers came in DeSantis had to fire 38 staffers and cut back on plans to air TV ads.
Other Republicans like Nikki Haley and Tim Scott had lesser success in courting the establishment donor class.
But five months later the worm turned.
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in state and national GOP primary polls as Trump’s message that life was better when he was president – inflation was under two percent, the border was secure and there was no threat of World War 3 – than under Joe Biden combined with Biden weaponizing the justice system against Trump convinced GOP voters that Trump is the strongest candidate to win in 2024.
As the polls moved in Trump’s direction, the money soon followed.
Trump lapped the GOP field in the latest fundraising report pulling $45 million between his campaign and leadership PAC.
And the GOP’s donors are returning to the fold.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump will be the nominee of our party,” Trump’s North Carolina finance chairman in 2020, Ed Broyhill, told NBC News. “The grassroots are a solid foundation for Donald Trump.”
Broyhill explained that no other candidate in the race built up the reservoir of support from GOP voters like Trump.
“I have met with all the candidates,” Broyhill added. “None are close to the level of support Trump has.”
Other GOP donors are returning to Trump because of what they see as the inevitability of his nomination.
“Why? It is easy, I want to win,” a GOP donor who gave to Trump but kicked the tires on DeSantis and Scott told NBC. “They are moving back to President Trump, and I want to win.”
Donors’ main ideology is that they want to win and not throw good money after bad.
Trump looks like a juggernaut in the polls so donors who initially hoped to rally around an establishment alternative to the 45th president threw in the towel.
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