The Slatest

Trump’s Campaign Raises $30 Million in First Quarter, Far Outpacing Democrats

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2019.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2019.
NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

President Donald Trump raised more than $30 million for his re-election bid in the first three months of the year, according to his campaign. That means the commander in chief now has $40.8 million of cash on hand, which amounts to a record at this stage of the race and is far higher than any of the Democratic hopefuls. In fact, it is more than the combined total of what the top two candidates raised considering Sen. Bernie Sanders got $18.2 million and Sen. Kamala Harris, $12 million. Trump’s number is even greater when you take into account that the Republican National Committee has raised $45.8 million.

The huge number can in part be explained because Trump enjoys the traditional incumbent advantage. But the president also began raising money much earlier than his predecessors.
There’s concern within Democratic circles that while Democrats fight among themselves in the primary, Trump will continue building up his war chest to give him a huge advantage once the general campaign starts. That is what the Trump team seems to be hoping for as well with a senior campaign official telling NBC News that after the primary “we expect them to be bruised, battered, and broke.”

Trump worked to set up his re-election effort shortly after he moved into the White House and he became the first president to ever file his re-election paperwork on the same day as his inauguration. The president’s fundraising effort is trying to woo big donors, of course, but it is also aiming to obtain small donations from supporters. And the effort appears to be working. Almost 99 percent of donations to Trump in the first quarter were for $200 or less and the average contribution was a mere $34.26.

Trump’s reelection campaign has the goal of raising a total of $1 billion for the 2020 contest.