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The US presidential field has narrowed considerably, but the fundraising amounts are growing as major donors — including Paul Singer, Timothy Mellon, and Ken Griffin — pour millions into the 2024 election.
Wealthy contributors are stepping off the sidelines as former President Donald Trump is poised to win the Republican nomination, while his sole remaining challenger Nikki Haley — and her deep bench of Wall Street support — raised nearly as much money as the former president in the fourth quarter. President Joe Biden, who doesn’t face a serious primary challenger, has amassed the biggest war chest of any Democrat in history at this point in the race.
The latest campaign finance disclosures cover donations and expenses for presidential campaigns from the fourth quarter of 2023 and super political action committees for the final six months of last year.
- Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $97 million in the fourth quarter and started 2024 with $117 million in the bank, according to his campaign
That $117 million is the most amassed by a Democratic presidential contender at this point in the cycle in history, according to the campaign. The total includes money raised for Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign, the DNC and state parties.
With no serious rival in the Democratic primaries, Biden can stockpile his money while Republican challengers spend theirs promoting themselves and attacking opponents in pursuit of the chance to face him in November.
- His campaign raised $19 million in the fourth quarter and started the year with $33 million in the bank
- His allied super PAC raised $46 million in the second half of 2023 and started the year with $23 million, according to a statement
Mellon gave $10 million, construction billionaire Diane Hendricks and Crownquest’s Timothy Dunn each gave $5 million and Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus gave $1 million to Trump’s allied super PAC, Make America Great Again, Inc. It refunded $30 million to Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America, to help defray the $25.7 million it paid in legal fees.
Trump’s campaign got contributions from billionaire Andrew Beal, former Renaissance Technologies executive Robert Mercer and Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners.
- Her campaign raised $17.3 million in the fourth quarter and ended the year with $14.5 million in the bank
- The super PAC supporting her bid raised $50.2 million in the final six months of 2023 and ended the year with $3.5 million
Haley’s allied super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., benefited from large contributions from major donors, including Citadel’s Ken Griffin, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum and Singer of Elliot Investment Management, each of whom gave $5 million.
Billionaire Anthony Pritzker and Baupost Group chief executive officer Seth Klarman also donated to Haley’s campaign.
Americans For Prosperity Action, the Charles Koch-aligned group supporting Haley, also reported Cliff Asness, Alice Walton and Patrick and Shirley Ryan among their donors.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
- The Kennedy campaign raised $7 million in the fourth quarter and began this year with $5.4 million
- His allied super PAC raised $18.5 million in the last half of 2023 and started the year with $14.8 million cash on hand.
Kennedy, an anti-vaccine activist who is running as an independent, has continued to find support from donors in finance and the crypto industry, but his biggest supporter has also given to Trump’s super PAC.
Mellon — who also gave to Trump — contributed $10 million to Kennedy’s super PAC, with half that amount coming after the candidate’s decision in October to run as an independent rather than challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination. Gavin De Becker, a security consultant who’s worked for Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, gave $5.5 million
Wenceslao Casares of Xapo Bank, Rhodium Enterprises Inc. co-founder Chase Blackmon, and Mark Gorton, founder of Tower Research Capital, were among those who contributed to Kennedy’s campaign in recent months.
- Long-shot Democratic challenger Dean Phillips took in $5 million in the fourth quarter, and ended with $360,000 cash on hand
Phillips, a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, was his own biggest source of cash, loaning his campaign $4 million. Yet he also had some support from prominent donors, including Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman and Y Combinator partner Paul Buchheit.
Other big donors are ignoring the top of the ticket and looking down ballot. Quant trader Jeff Yass gave $10 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that backs House Republicans. It raised $40.2 million in the last half of 2023, ending the year with $54.4 million. Singer — who also contributed to Haley’s bid — gave $1.5 million, while Marc Rowan of Apollo Global Management gave $1 million.
The Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC linked to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, raised a more modest $27 million. Fox Corporation’s Rupert Murdoch gave $2 million, and Rowan and Singer each pitched in $1 million.
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