As a fuller financial picture of the 2024 presidential race emerged with Saturday’s campaign deadline, problems appeared to be lurking beneath the surface for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
Despite a strong fundraising total of $20 million, Mr. DeSantis is spending hand over fist, and his reliance on big donors suggests a lack of grassroots support. Former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign recorded $17.7 million in fundraising, almost all of which was handed over by another committee that will not report its donors until the end of this month.
In the meantime, President Biden and the Democratic National Committee have raised almost as much money as all the Republican candidates for president combined.
Some of the more modest Republican fundraisers — like Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador — appear to have solid support and lean campaign operations built for the long haul. About a third of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s $1.6 million came from smaller donors, which is high for Republicans and could speak to relatively broad appeal.
Warning signs appeared for Republicans beyond Mr. DeSantis. Former Vice President Mike Pence brought in $1.2 million in contributions, raising questions about whether he can draw significant support among Republicans.
Then there are the self-funded candidates, whose campaigns will last as long as they’re willing to spend their own fortunes — and for now, at least, they’re certainly spending a lot.
Here are some initial drafts of the files, which detail fundraising and spending from April 1 to June 30.
DeSantis relies on big money … and he spends it fast.
In the six weeks between his entry into the race and the end of the quarter, Mr. DeSantis raised $19.7 million for his campaign, $16.9 million of which came from contributions of more than $200, a sign of his reliance on big-dollar contributions.
He also spends that money – fast.
His filings on Saturday showed his campaign spent nearly $7.9 million in those six weeks. Major expenses included $1.3 million allocated for travel (several vendors appear to be private jet charter services); more than $1 million per payroll; and more than $800,000 each for digital fundraising consulting, media placement and postage.
It’s a “burn rate” of about 40 percent, which is on the high end compared to the other Republican candidates. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina reported raising nearly $5.9 million in the second quarter, and spending $6.7 million. But he had more of a cushion: He carried $22 million from his Senate campaign into his presidential run.
Mr. DeSantis reported $12.2 million in cash at the end of June; Mr. Scott had $21 million.
A full picture of Trump’s war chest is not yet clear.
Mr. Trump is the runaway leader in polls of Republican candidates, and he has extensive financial resources and fundraising ability. But his exact financial situation is complicated.
This month, the Trump campaign said the former president raised more than $35 million in the second quarter through his joint fundraising committee, which then transfers the money to his campaign and political action committee.
His campaign filing on Saturday reported a total of $17.7 million in receipts — which includes contributions, transfers and refunds — nearly all of which came in transfers from the joint fundraising committee.
Where is the rest of the reported $35 million? The joint fundraising committee is not required to submit its report until the end of the month. The New York Times reported last month that Mr. Trump in recent months had directed more money from the joint committee into the PAC, which he used to pay his legal bills.
Penny joins the latecomers.
Bringing up the rear of the Republican pack are former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who raised about $500,000 in the second quarter, and Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman, who raised just $270,000.
While these long-shot candidates weren’t expected to raise tons of money, observers might have expected more from former Vice President Mike Pence, who reported just $1.2 million in contributions.
Mr. Pence also spent very little — just $74,000, his filings show. His campaign has not said whether he has reached the threshold of 40,000 unique donors, one of the requirements to appear on the Republican debate on August 23.
Self-funded applicants are also burning through cash.
On Friday, the campaign of Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, a wealthy former software engineer, filed his quarterly report, showing that he raised $1.5 million in contributions and that he loaned $10 million to his campaign.
Mr. Burgum’s campaign spent more than $8.1 million last quarter, including an eye-popping $6 million in advertising, the filings show. He had $3.6 million in cash at the end of the month.
Another Republican candidate, wealthy entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, reported $2.3 million in contributions last quarter, as well as $5 million in loans from himself. Mr. Ramaswamy has loaned his campaign $15.25 million since entering the race in February; he said he would spend $100 million of his own money on his bid.
He might need to if he keeps up the spending spree. He spent more than $8 million from April to June, including $1.5 million for media placement and hundreds of thousands of dollars for travel.