After the 2018 midterm elections are over, the official “horse-race” for president will begin. While Democrats have yet to choose their own candidate, the Republican Party nominee-apparent is President Donald Trump. Going into that election season, the president is sitting in a pretty good position.
In his first two years as president, Trump has raised more than $100 million in campaign funds for his re-election efforts. That tops what any other president has done since Ronald Reagan.
Granted, Trump did start campaigning almost immediately after he won the election for president in 2016, something that his immediate predecessors didn’t do. Still, the numbers are impressive, especially given that most of the money raised (56 percent) came from donors that gave less than $200 — meaning that Trump’s loyal base of supporters is still head over heels for the former businessman, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
Yet not all of the money is going directly to Trump’s campaign. Some of it, in fact, is being spent on legal fees — in the last quarter alone, in which Trump raised $18.1 million, he also spent $1.6 million toward legal counsel, of which $1.3 million went to a firm that’s representing him during the continuing investigation into Russia’s meddling in our elections in 2016, led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
President Trump has raised more than $100 million for a 2020 re-election battle, giving him a massive financial advantage over a crowded field of potential Democratic contenders https://t.co/giXEkCLypm
— CNN (@CNN) October 16, 2018
A small sum of the campaign cash is also going toward Congressional candidates running for office, including newcomers trying to win as well as incumbents trying to save their seats. Trump’s campaign coffers have distributed $214,000 evenly to 107 Republican candidates across the nation, around $2,000 to each candidate in vulnerable or contestable races.
Trump’s ability to raise campaign dollars is unmatched in the same two-year time period, but in the last quarter, he was not the top fundraiser across the nation. That distinction goes to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is hoping to unseat current Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, in the state of Texas. During the most recent completed quarter for fundraising, O’Rourke raised $38.1 million, more than double Trump had raised, and a record for a Senate candidate to have amassed in a single quarter of fundraising dollars, reported CNN.
When asked earlier in the week whether he’d spread out the fundraising to other Democratic candidates for office across the nation, O’Rourke was adamant that the money raised (which was for his campaign) will be spent on winning the election he’s running in.
“I’m focused on Texas. Most of our contributions have come from Texas. All of them have come from people. Not a dime from PACs,” O’Rourke told reporters, according to reporting from The Hill.