I don’t think Donald Trump will be spending a lot of his own money to get re-elected.
The Trump campaign reported to the FEC that they have raised a whopping $30.3 million for the January-March quarter. They also reported cash on hand of $40.8 million, swamping the president’s nearest Democratic challenger, Bernie Sanders.
“The president is in a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for re-election, and only continues to build momentum,” said Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Among the Democrats, Sanders is on top when it comes to the amount of cash raised and the amount of money in the bank. The Independent from Vermont, who’s making his second straight bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, reported raising $18.2 million, with $28 million cash on hand, having transferred money left over from his 2018 Senate re-election bid.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California reported raising $12 million. So did former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, who’s considered a long-shot for the nomination. But $11.7 million of that haul was an infusion of cash from the candidate, who’s a self-made multi-millionaire.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas raised an eye-popping $9.4 million during the first 18 days of his campaign, with $6.1 million of the haul coming in the first 24 hours after declaring his candidacy.
Trump filed for re-election the day he was inaugurated, giving him an enormous advantage over his rivals. But perhaps more significantly from a political standpoint, Donald Trump showed just who is the candidate of the “little guy.”
The Trump campaign touted its small-dollar grassroots appeal, announcing that 98.79 percent of first-quarter contributions were $200 or less, and that the average donation to the campaign was $34.26.
Now perhaps some naysayers in the Republican Party will understand why the Democrats are being given only a 50-50 chance of beating Trump. By the time this race is over, Trump is likely to have raised more than double what he spent in 2016 to get elected. With Democrats locked in a death struggle between the various wings of their party, whichever candidate emerges as the nominee will likely be tapped out. Meanwhile, Trump will be running virtually unopposed and will be able to harness his resources and drop massive amounts of cash in battleground states, and maybe even pick off a blue state or two he narrowly lost in 2o16 — like Minnesota.
Now President Trump sees the state as a personal challenge heading into the 2020 election, and his campaign is making it an early target.
No Republican presidential candidate has claimed the state’s 10 Electoral College votes since Richard Nixon in 1972 — the longest blue streak in the United States.
Trump acknowledged the Democratic hold on Minnesota during a quick stop there Monday to tout his signature tax law.
“This has been a very special state. It has been a rare victory for Republicans. And we almost won it,” Trump said during a visit to a trucking company in Burnsville, a suburb of Minneapolis. He said the result would have been different if he had come more often: “One more speech.”
That may be, and he will certainly have a lot more money to put into the effort to flip the state in 2020.
Trump’s fundraising juggernaut is just getting started. Along with a massive organization of volunteers and paid staffers, the president will present a difficult challenge to any Democrat who wants to unseat him.