Everyone’s thinking about the elections. Whether it’s for political reasons or for financial reasons, the next presidential election is going to impact everyone’s lives. Will the next president be good for business? Good for the economy? Will small business owners suffer? Will entrepreneurs find it difficult to get funding?
A lot of it hinges on the campaigns being waged right now, and which campaigns are proving to be most effective is up in the air. Let’s take a look at the money behind the politics.
First: Trump’s Re-Election Campaign
With the impeachment in the past and a potential war with Iran in the future, Trump’s campaign managers are likely happy that they committed to an early start for his re-election campaign. Trump’s campaign has been raising a heavy-hitting $40 million plus every quarter, and over $100 million in the third quarter, making it the most well-funded campaign for the 2020 election series.
Yet, despite that, we haven’t actually seen a lot from Trump’s campaign, at least not in terms of strategy. It’s likely that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and a lot still to come.
Bernie Sanders a Close Second
Sanders has been raising about $30 million a quarter, give or take, which is particular note given his refusal to take money from large campaign donors. Despite former Vice President Joe Biden being the clear front runner in the campaign from the start, Sanders has been taking up the mantle effectively — while Senator Elizabeth Warren has been falling behind in the polls.
But that doesn’t mean that Warren is far behind; she’s still been raising close to the same amount as Sanders. In the third quarter of 2019, Warren raised $24.7 million compared to Biden’s $15.7. Biden’s live speech gaffes and an assortment of policy decisions from the past have generally reflected him unfavorably during the campaign season.
Tom Steyer: $46 Million Raised
Those looking at the tallies might notice that Tom Steyer has raised $46 million so far during his campaign, topping the charts in some quarters, despite being relatively silent in all other aspects. It’s not surprising: Tom Steyer is a billionaire and a hedge fund manager. While he’s not in the top polling on any charts, he’s been throwing a lot of money at his campaign.
Steyer has self-funded a lot of his campaign, and has used a significant amount of money in targeted advertising. This is a strategy to watch, because if it does work (in any way whatsoever), it could radically change the strategies that political scientists use in the future. Steyer’s major goal appears to be to advertise almost exclusively to early primary states, and it has been seen that early primary states can greatly influence an election.
The RNC vs the DNC Dollar for Dollar
The RNC, of course, has an easier job of it: It’s often difficult to throw out a seated president, even if there are other issues at hand. The RNC is able to fundraise solely for Trump, while the DNC has been split among separate candidates.
The RNC is said to have raised a combined $125 million for Trump’s campaign for the third quarter of 2019, and that’s in addition to the prior quarters. This is more than the top three DNC candidates combined, and there are currently seventeen Democrats vying for the nomination.
A Campaign of Uncertainty
As with anything in politics, no one really knows what’s going on at this early stage. Despite the impeachment, President Trump continues to poll high, and if there is a war with Iran (though this is doubtful), it could easily cement his second term. Voters are always wary of replacing a sitting president during times of war. The RNC has put a lot of money into the Trump campaign, and has been able to focus on Trump’s reelection — while the DNC remains scattered.
On the DNC side, Biden, Warren, and Sanders all seem to have a potential foothold, with no way of telling which will actually win the primaries. Disruptive strategies such as Steyer’s early market targeting could skew results significantly, and ultimately, the DNC may end up running a dark horse candidate who doesn’t have a chance of winning the popular vote.
But there’s one thing that’s obvious: a lot of money is going into a lot of pockets, and the campaigns have brought out many big spenders in all areas.