Written by 17:01 Business

How Billionaire Donors Are Reshaping the Trump-Biden Race

Donald Trump has rapidly erased his cash disadvantage against President Biden, out-raising his Democratic rival for a second straight month. Powering that fund-raising haul was a coterie of well-heeled supporters who donated millions shortly after the former president was convicted of 34 felony counts in New York.

But wealthy donors are still giving to Biden, and his campaign has used its big early financial lead to build a political machine in key battleground states. That means that success in November may come down in part to which side can keep tapping its billionaire backers for cash.

The numbers: Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $141 million last month, compared with Biden and the Democratic National Committee’s $85 million. And a partial count yesterday showed Trump and the R.N.C. had a war chest of at least $170 million, compared with $212 million for Biden and the D.N.C.

Wealthy conservatives are coming off the sidelines. Chief among them last month was Timothy Mellon, an heir to the Mellon fortune who donated $50 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. Shortly after receiving the money, the super PAC booked $100 million in ad spots through Labor Day.

It’s a reminder that many donors have gotten over any misgivings about Trump. That includes some who publicly denounced Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election result and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Among them: Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone, who cited economic, immigration and foreign policy concerns in announcing his support for Trump last month.

Many hope to get what they view as a more pro-business candidate in the White House, even though the stock market has soared under Biden. Trump’s current backers include financial and oil magnates hoping for deregulation.

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Last modified: 22 June 2024
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