DeSantis Super PAC Has $97 Million, Trump Committees Burning Cash on Legal Bills

 DeSantis Super PAC Has $97 Million, Trump Committees Burning Cash on Legal Bills

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DeSantis’s campaign has experienced turbulence, with staff layoffs and donor discontent. However, the strong financial backing from his super PAC might help stabilize his candidacy. He is currently more than 35 points behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in the RealClearPolitics polls average.

Donors and party insiders consider super PAC fundraising as an indication of a candidate’s viability. These disclosures, due Monday at midnight to the Federal Election Commission, cover contributions and expenses for the first half of the year. This period witnessed the announcement of presidential runs by numerous candidates.

Super PACs are critical to campaigns due to their ability to raise unlimited funds. In contrast, presidential campaigns can only receive up to $3,300 per donor. Although super PACs can’t directly coordinate with campaigns, they are typically the choice for major donors to pour millions into supporting their favored candidates.

Below is a summary of how different super PACs allied with campaigns are doing:

  • Ron DeSantis’s super PAC, Never Back Down, raised $131 million, spending $33.7 million over the last six months. They still have $97 million as of July. Notably, $82.5 million was transferred from DeSantis’s Florida PAC from his 2022 governor run, and $20 million was donated by Robert Bigelow of Budget Suites of America. Despite staff layoffs, the super PAC has increased its activity, such as hosting a recent bus tour in Iowa.
  • Donald Trump’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., raised $13.1 million but refunded $12.3 million to offset legal expenses. It ended June with $30.8 million. Despite spending a massive amount on backing Trump, his lead in polls is clear. However, legal expenses have caused a 44% drop in cash since the beginning of the year.
  • Tim Scott’s super PAC, Trust in the Mission, raised $19.3 million, spent $4.3 million, and ended June with $15 million. Notably, it received a $5 million donation from Sherman Financial Group’s Benjamin Navarro.
  • Nikki Haley’s super PAC, SFA Fund, raised $18.7 million, spent $1.6 million, and started July with $17 million in the bank. The super PAC received its most substantial donation of $5 million from WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum.
  • Doug Burgum’s super PAC, Best of America, supporting the North Dakota Governor, raised $11 million and spent less than $3,000.
  • Chris Christie’s super PAC, Tell It Like It Is, raised $5.9 million, spent less than $430,000, and ended June with $5.5 million. It received notable donations from several long-standing Republican donors.
  • Mike Pence’s group, Committed to America, raised over $2.7 million, which questions his ability to qualify for the first GOP debate in August.
  • Francis Suarez’s super PAC, SOS America, raised nearly $1.3 million, spent over $1.5 million, but still ended June with $5.6 million.
  • Asa Hutchinson’s super PAC raised $2.3 million, a helpful amount for a candidate struggling with fundraising but far from the necessary amount to be competitive.
  • Will Hurd’s super PAC, Future Leaders Fund, raised nearly $661,000 in the first six months, ending the period with nearly $730,000 in the bank.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s super PAC, American Values 2024, raised nearly $9.8 million, with approximately half coming from Timothy Mellon, a significant Trump donor.

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