Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Trump reaps post-verdict financial windfall

By 37ci3 Jun4,2024

Good news for the former president Donald Trump His political operation says he made a staggering nine figures in May, including a flood of donations at the end of the month. The bad news: he had to be convicted of 34 felonies to send his supporters on this fundraising spree.

In the short term, Trump’s campaign benefited measurably from the Manhattan grand jury’s finding that he illegally schemed to cover up his relationship with porn actress Stormi Daniels to help his 2016 campaign. Trump aides say the former president, who denies having sex with Daniels, raised $53 million for a number of related accounts in the first 24 hours after the verdict, bringing his May total to $141 million.

To put that in perspective, that’s nearly double what the Trump campaign raised in April ($76 million), which was its high water mark at the time. (The Byzantine structure of presidential fundraising makes it difficult to verify these totals in real time, especially before mandatory filings with the Federal Election Commission.)

It’s a financial turning point for the Trump team, which has so far lagged far behind President Joe Biden’s fundraising campaign, one of the Democrats’ quantifiable advantages. But one of the most pressing questions facing Trump is whether the dollar will matter as much as the stigma of a “guilty” brand — especially in a 2020 election where many voters’ opinions of the two candidates are unchanged and there is little movement in the polls. .

“I think crime hurts him more than fundraising,” said Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha, who served as a senior aide to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ well-funded 2020 Democratic primary campaign.

Rob Godfrey, a South Carolina-based Republican strategist, said the key for Trump is that he can find a way to use money to shake voters’ perceptions of him and Biden.

“There is no doubt that the fundraising gains the Trump campaign has seen over the past week will help him more than hurt him in any way.” will make all the difference.”

That could inject a huge amount of funds into Trump’s campaign at a crucial time as he heads into the convention season and post-Labor Day sprint.

Trump’s senior adviser Brian Hughes, who described the New York trial as “politically motivated election interference,” said that “fundraising, polling, and voter turnout show that Trump’s guilty verdict has backfired for Biden and his Democratic allies.” .”

Polls taken after the verdict did not show much movement in voters’ preferences in the race. Any movement toward Biden is slight, but within the margin of error. More obvious is the impact on Trump’s results. His aides say the jury won’t have the final say.

“The actual sentencing is Nov. 5,” Hughes said.

Biden and the Democrats have been in the fundraising driver’s seat throughout the presidency. That’s a meaningful advantage, according to Todd Belt, director of the Political Management program at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

“It allowed Joe Biden to do what you want to do early in the election. “The reason these field offices are really important is because you can organize volunteers and do more fundraising.”

That creates a “snowball effect” for a campaign, Belt said, adding that “the new influx of money for Donald Trump will help him catch up in that respect.”

Biden’s start

Biden’s campaign raised almost $195 million from early 2021 through April 2024, compared to Trump’s $124 million. The Democratic National Committee also surpassed the Republican National Committee in this area – $531 million to $497 million.

The Democratic operation has long used its fundraising advantage as an argument to quiet critics, noting that it has made early, significant investments in traditional campaigns such as organizing and media buys. Democrats have also pointed out that the tens of millions of dollars Trump’s team has spent on legal fees related to his accusations further underscores their party’s dominance.

“We’ll see how the numbers change in July, but one thing’s for sure: Trump’s billionaire friends are supporting the campaign of a white-collar crook because they know the deal — they cut his checks and he cuts taxes. Working people and the middle class are paying,” Ammar Moussa, director of rapid response for the Biden campaign, said in a statement.

But there are clear signs that Trump has at least closed the gap, with the Republican National Committee being rebuilt in his image and more and more high-dollar donors returning to its ranks since the GOP primary.

Campaign finance filings show the DNC only narrowly edged the RNC in April. And statements issued by both campaigns It suggested that Trump’s fundraising overall boosted Biden’s money from $76 million to $51 million.

Democrats and Biden allies downplayed the possible effects of Trump’s fundraising resumption. The campaign said the post-sentence period was one of them the strongest fundraising periods as wellbut refused to disclose specific figures.

And one senior Biden campaign official told NBC News that they are confident in their fundraising efforts because they see it as more sustainable than Trump, whose long-standing fundraising advantage will allow them to test messaging and organizational strategies that will pay dividends in 2023. allows to pass. to fall

Jim Messina, who served as the campaign manager of President Barack Obama in 2012, agreed with this idea.

“They always knew that Trump would catch up. “Both sides will have the resources they need, but the truth is: what you can’t get back is time,” he told NBC News.

“Yeah, they’re collecting money in general, but he still got 34 felony counts, so don’t get too excited about it. You’d rather not be guilty,” Messina continued.

Already, Biden has shifted his position to try to capitalize on Trump’s legal troubles. Immediately after the decision, Biden said the only way to defeat Trump was at the ballot box. But at a fundraising event in the upscale New York town of Greenwich, Connecticut, he took a more aggressive approach, using the phrase “convicted felon” to describe his opponent.

“For the first time in American history, a former president convicted of a felony is now seeking the presidency,” Biden said. “But as troubling as it is, Donald Trump’s all-out assault on the American justice system is far more damaging.”

Trump also faces criminal charges in a federal case related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, a federal case of mishandling classified documents and a Georgia case in which he is accused of illegally trying to change the 2020 results in that state.

It remains to be seen whether Trump’s organization can continue this fundraising spree, and whether its upcoming legal troubles will help.

But campaigns aren’t always won by the best fundraiser. Hillary Clinton vastly outspent Trump on her way to defeat in 2016, and Biden did the same in 2020 and won.

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By 37ci3

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