After months of hints and hype, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday finally formally announced his candidacy to be elected president again in 2024.
Unfortunately for Trump, however, he will not enjoy the same level of financial support from so-called GOP megadonors in the coming election cycle as he did in 2016 or 2020, the Daily Caller reported.
Indeed, several major wealthy donors who contributed millions of dollars to Trump or Trump-aligned political action committees in previous elections have made it clear that, at least with regard to the 2024 primaries, they plan to contribute funds to the campaigns and aligned committees of other potential Republican candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mercers no longer supporting Trump
CNBC reported that the wealthy conservative financier father-daughter duo of Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who contributed millions to Trump’s 2016 election efforts, will not be supporting the former president again in the 2024 cycle.
It was further reported that the Mercers plan to reduce their campaign funding activities overall, which continues a trend for them that began in the 2018 midterm cycle, after which Rebekah stopped financially supporting Trump, and the 2020 presidential cycle, in which Robert only donated around $355,000 in support of Trump’s re-election bid.
The Mercers likely will continue to donate in support of other Republican candidates and conservative causes, however, though perhaps not to the extent that they have done in prior election cycles.
Other megadonors are moving on
According to CNBC, the Mercers are not alone among so-called GOP megadonors in letting it be known that they have no plans to support the former president’s 2024 campaign, as the likes of “Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, wealthy New York businessman Andy Sabin and billionaire Ronald Lauder” as also planning to send donations elsewhere, at least during the upcoming GOP primary.
The Hill reported that Citadel’s Griffin, the second-largest GOP donor in the recent midterm cycle, announced at a forum in Singapore his intention to support Gov. DeSantis — if he runs — and said of Trump and the past few election cycles in which the GOP has underperformed, “I’d like to think that the Republican Party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser.”
Similarly, Blackstone’s Schwarzman recently announced that he’d support whoever may challenge Trump. “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” he said. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
The Hill also noted that several prominent Republican politicians and even former administration officials who previously supported Trump has revealed in the wake of the disappointing midterm elections that they will not support another presidential bid by Trump.
Trump still has an army of loyal supporters, could partially self-fund campaign
All of that said, The Hill noted that despite the likely lack of support of “megadonors” for Trump — at least during the 2024 primary, as some may ultimately support him if he wins the nomination — the former president will still have the massive small-dollar support of his veritable army of loyal supporters who helped him raise around three-quarters of a billion dollars in campaign funding in 2020.
And, given that Trump reportedly spent around $66 million of his own wealth on his 2016 campaign — self-funding was not deemed necessary in 2020 — it is not entirely out of the question that he could do so again in 2024 if the megadonors truly refrain from donating anything to his cause.