Follow the money is a tried and true adage. Usually when the money stops coming in, the show is over. That looks to be the case with Donald Trump. He’s got a number of PACS and between them they took in $24 million in the past three months — which is quite impressive, unless you look on the other side of the ledger and realize that he spent $37 million during the same period of time, which makes a net loss of $13 million. Ouch. Daily Beast:
In real terms, Trump’s fundraising last quarter was actually something closer to $3.6 million—that’s how much he actually raised for his two main committees, which he can use for things like political activity, events, legal fees, and enriching his businesses. But while those two committees took in about $3.6 million, they also spent roughly $15.5 million on operating costs.
Those losses didn’t stop Trump’s allies from boasting to the media that the ongoing federal investigation into his hoarding of government records was playing out as a political and financial win, claiming the legal boondoggle had only energized his MAGA base. In truth, they weren’t telling the whole story—the twice-impeached former president had been hemorrhaging cash all along, while apparently struggling to convert small-dollar donors. […]
This analysis is based on recent Federal Election Commission filings from Trump’s three active fundraising committees. Over the last three months, those groups spent a combined $23 million on services associated with raising money. Accounting for just those expenses, Trump walked away with a little over $1 million. But his other costs took a major bite—legal fees alone ate up $7.5 million—leaving him $13 million in the hole, all told.
Legal fees will eat up money every time and unfortunately, the direction that Trump’s fortunes are going right now, it doesn’t look like his legal dollar is going to decrease. Au contraire, if anything, that’s the area where he’s liable to be laying out the most cash in the foreseeable future.
According to FEC reports, Save America and MAGA PAC raised a combined total of a little more than $3.6 million from donations last quarter—a far cry from $24 million.
That’s because the $24 million was raised by the third group, a joint fundraising entity called “Save America Joint Fundraising Committee” (SAJFC), which handles almost all of Trump’s fundraising.
The only real purpose SAJFC serves is to act as a middleman. It doesn’t engage in political activity, but instead raises money directly from small-dollar donors and splits the proceeds between the two other Trump groups. And filings show that almost every dollar of the $3.6 million that Save America and MAGA PAC raised from donations in the last three months came from that group.
But even though SAJFC raised $24 million, it cost $22 million to get there. And as The Daily Beast reported on Thursday, more than $20 million of that spending went to services to help Trump raise money—things like web and text message ads, digital consulting, direct mail, donor lists, online merchant fees, and the like.
Trump still has his war chest, estimated at $92 million, which is more than the RNC has and don’t think that doesn’t rankle them. And that is most likely how Trump’s legal fees are going to get paid at all. Donor fatigue is a very real thing. So is a drop off in small dollar donors. Trump appears to be experiencing both of those things.
He’s still putting up posts regularly on Truth Social about how he’s the most popular candidate and the 2024 nomination is a shoo-in. Let’s see what’s left in the bank as he gets closer to the finish line.