Trump is crushing his GOP competition in polls — and cash

Trump is crushing his GOP competition in polls — and scaled | ltc-a

“All the political elites want him to run out of money and keep hoping something bad is gonna happen. And he just continues to chug along and improve,” said Dave Carney, a veteran Republican consultant. “And without any clarity on the alternative across six or seven people right now, you know, he’s just gonna continue to roll forward.”

The fundraising total reported by Trump’s campaign was notably lower than the more than $45 million in cash that his team said his joint fundraising committee raised from July through September. That suggests the joint fundraising committee was spending heavily on its own expenses before it was able to transfer proceeds to the Trump campaign. (The joint fundraising committee is not required to disclose its finances until the end of January.)

But Trump still finds himself in an enviable position financially. DeSantis’ fundraising has tailed off, with the Florida governor boasting about $12.3 million in the bank. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley reported $11.5 million on hand at the end of the third quarter.

The practical effects of Trump’s cash advantage are huge. The former president could comfortably outgun his primary opponents on the airwaves if he finds his prodigious polling lead slipping. He can also sustain a larger payroll to boost a ground game advantage over the competition. DeSantis has a well-funded super PAC to help close these gaps, but that committee cannot legally coordinate with the Florida governor’s campaign.

Still, Trump’s expenses could become an area of concern. The campaign itself did not spend heavily on legal bills in the third quarter, but his leadership committee has had to spend tens of millions on them.

The Trump campaign’s biggest expenses in the third quarter came from payroll, on which his campaign spent $1.3 million. That figure only slightly bested DeSantis’ $1.27 million, but the Florida governor has cut back on that cost significantly in an effort to reduce expenses.

Trump also spent heavily on private air travel, which is necessitated by security concerns. All told, his campaign paid $1.1 million to TAG Aviation, a charter jet company. It also doled out another $140,600 to Private Jet Services Group, LLC.

One thing Trump has continued to do, though at a less robust pace than his first two runs for the White House, is spend campaign money at his properties. In the third quarter, the campaign reported $19,682 in payments to his National Doral club, $6,581 to his club at Bedminster, and $10,710 to his club at Mar-a-Lago.