Trump, Haley battle for big donors while Biden campaign sits on massive cash reserve
President Biden's reelection campaign ended 2023 with nearly $117 million in its coffers, far ahead of his potential GOP rivals as they seek to woo big Republican donors.
Former President Trump's campaign committee closed out the year with $33 million, and Nikki Haley, Trump's last major rival for the GOP nomination, ended 2023 with around $15 million.
The campaign totals are only a partial picture. Trump donors contributed a total of $188 million in 2023 to support various committees, yet that was offset by paying tens of millions in legal bills of the former president, the Wall Street Journal reported. Across the board, Trump and his outside political groups had around $65 million cash on hand by Jan. 1.
Haley, who came in second place in New Hampshire and third place in Iowa, is still buoyed by a steady flow of campaign donations in her uphill fight against Trump.
In the week after the New Hampshire primary, Haley's campaign raised more than $5 million, according to a source familiar with the fundraising.
Her fundraising spree hasn't let up as she attended 10 fundraisers in a two-week span. At a series of donor meetings in New York and Florida, Haley brought in $2.5 million.
Haley's campaign has pointed out that with Trump as the nominee, down-ballot races for House and Senate could be impacted.
At one meeting with high-dollar GOP donors in Florida on Wednesday, both Haley and Trump's campaigns made their pitches to the meeting of the network known as the American Opportunity Alliance (AOA). Haley's campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, told the group that Trump's former ambassador to the U.N. was the last hope at preventing a Trump vs. Biden rematch in 2024 that a majority of Americans don't seem to want.
'We know the House is gone if Trump is the nominee,' a source familiar with the campaign told Fox News Digital. 'There are 18 seats held by Republicans that Joe Biden won in 2020, 10 of them by five points or more,' the source added. 'November's Senate map highly favors Republicans, but that favorability won't last past this year 'Because there are no Democrats up in Trump states in 2026 or 2028.'
At the Florida AOA fundraiser, Susie Wiles, a top adviser on the Trump campaign, pitched the former president at the meeting despite his rocky relationship with some GOP donors. The case for Trump, according to reports, centered around the low possibility of Haley's path to victory. She didn't win either of the first two nominating contests, and South Carolina — her home state — looks to be no different.
'President Trump’s campaign is fueled by small dollar donors across the country from every background who are sick and tired of Crooked Joe Biden’s record-high inflation, wide open border, crime and chaos. President Trump continues to dominate Biden in every single battleground poll, and we are more confident than ever that he will take back the White House in November,' said Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt in a statement.
Trump has made his legal fights a central theme of his political campaign, accusing Democrats of using 'ridiculous' lawsuits and criminal charges to keep him off the ballot. In the early days of the GOP primary last year, he did see a dramatic rise against Republican rivals as he faced more and more indictments.
However, the Trump payments to law firms fighting four criminal cases and several civil trials caught Haley's attention.
'He can’t beat Joe Biden if he’s spending all his time and money on court cases and chaos,' Haley posted on X this week.
The post-Iowa and New Hampshire fundraising figures for the Trump campaign have not been released, so it's unclear what boost he may have seen after his commanding victories in the first two contests.
Haley did appear to get a boost from donors after Trump said anyone who donated to Haley's campaign following his initial victories would be 'will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.'
Haley's campaign says it raised half a million dollars from selling more than 15,000 'permanently barred' T-shirts.
Though Trump has had a stormy relationship over the years with some in the GOP donor class, he has been making an effort this cycle to mend fences and court top-dollar contributors.
'I think they're running a much more sophisticated campaign this year than ever before,' a major GOP bundler who asked to remain anonymous told Fox News Digital in a previous interview. 'And so, as part of that, they're looking to consolidate Republican support, both politically and financially.'
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