The former president can use powerful backing to affect midterm elections

The Trump campaign reduced its spending during the beginning of this year compared with 2021 after the fundraising rate slowed slightly. The former president shifted towards endorsements that are well-known to influence the midterm elections.

Based on the FT study of Federal campaign finance documents filed ahead of an evening deadline on Friday, the former president has a massive $146 million reserve of funds to help Republican presidential candidates that have joined his political goals.

However, individual donations to Trump-affiliated political committees have diminished somewhat in recent months. In the second quarter of 2021, they raised around $10 million per month. However, in the first three months of 2022, the figure fell by $7.8mn monthly.

The reports also reveal the slowing of spending by Trump-related organizations, which suggests that President Trump and his circle are yet to determine the best way to spend their money. At the same time, Trump-affiliated organizations spent more than $15 million every month during 2021. That number dropped to just $10 million per month for the beginning of the 2022 quarter.

The former president is still the most powerful Republican despite not winning the 2020 presidential election and twice being impeached by members of the US House of Representatives, firstly for pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to find dirt about Joe Biden and then for his involvement in provoking the attack on January 6, 2021, in the US Capitol. Trump is also contemplating his options for a second run for the White House in 2024.

Due to his long-standing hold over Trump’s control over the Republican group and their conservative base, many Republican candidates this year are seeking his endorsement — and Trump has begun to offer prominent endorsements in important races.

On Friday evening, Trump backed JD Vance. The latter is a venture capitalist and creator of Hillbilly Elegy, in May, in advance of the Republican primary for the unfilled Senate Seat in Ohio. Almost all candidates running to succeed Rob Portman, the outgoing Republican senator, sought his backing.

This month Trump has endorsed Mehmet Oz, the renowned doctor, to run for the Republican nomination to fill an unfilled Senate seat located in Pennsylvania which is now being held by Republican Pat Toomey. Trump’s endorsement was requested by David McCormick, the former hedge fund executive and the top Treasury officials during the administration of George W Bush, the other major contender for the seat.

The bulk of Trump’s campaign and political apparatus is located in Save America Pac, whose cash reserves have increased from $105mn to $110mn. The rest is distributed across various other vehicles for fundraising. The month that was just ended, Save America Pac made one of its largest spending actions to date, funnelling $500,000 to a different political spending group, which is supporting the efforts of David Perdue, the former Georgia senator, taking over Brian Kemp as governor of Georgia following the time he declared Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election as reported by Politico.

If similar massive spending plans do not follow this action, it could create frictions among Trump and his preferred candidates. They mostly compete with established Republicans supported by traditional donors from finance and business.

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