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.

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  1. I see parallels between Trump and William Randolph Hearst. Both started off if not progressive then certainly ok with much that was progressive, if only to do the rich person “keep options open with both sides” thing. In Hearst’s case he broke with FDR and became rather problematic. Both had giant megaphones they used to influence public opinion. Trump of course has been adept at TV but Hearst owned the largest media empire with all those newspapers back in the day, long before there was TV.

    But more to the point of your article ursula BOTH lived lavish lifestyle and made sure to flaunt it. Both took in vast sums of money, but spent even more and just as Hearst got to the point where he could no longer juggle the financial balls Trump has been inexorably headed to the same place. Hearst’s empire imploded and he wound up being put on an allowance (albeit a generous one) by the trustees appointed to sell off his assets and manage what was left. He even had to pay rent to continue to live in his beloved “Castle” in San Simeon. I for one still think there’s a good chance Trump will go to prison and at his age even a five year sentence might mean him dying there. However, wouldn’t it be a hoot if he lost ownership of Mar A Lago and Trump Tower (a given) and wound up having to pay rent?

    (Oh, and compared to Heart’s infamous “Castle” which was handsomely furnished with some serious and valuable stuff, Trump’s Mar A Lago is one of those manufactured homes, two trailers designed to be mated into what looks like a rectangular house.)

    • Mar-al-Ego was built for Marjorie Post, back in the 20s, when it was the thing for wealthy people. The former guy may have added bad taste to it, but he’s not responsible for the basic design.

      • And of course, Trump is too poor, cheap, or grafting to actually keep Mar-El-Largo as the big extravagant rich person’s home it was designed to be. He’s converted it to a ‘private’ club where anyone with enough money is welcomed to be shaken down for more cash.

      • Ms. Post was a woman of class and she’s got to be spinning in her grave over some tasteless doofus like Trump owning it. And I’ll guarantee you the furnishings inside were far superior back when she had control of the place!

      • Man-go-Lardo became a club around the time the Orange Orc divorced Obama and suffered some business losses. He needed moneybfastu.


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