The Republican presidential race is witnessing a compelling contrast between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in terms of grassroots support and fundraising strategies.
A recent Axios article sheds light on the significance of small-dollar donations and their role in gauging grassroots enthusiasm for a candidate. The data reveals a remarkable trend, indicating Trump’s overwhelming advantage in this critical metric over DeSantis.
Trump Received Grassroots Support From Small Donors:
According to the article, an astonishing 82% of the total raised from individual contributions by Trump’s campaign since the beginning of the year came from small-dollar donors, amounting to over $44 million, as per FEC data. In contrast, DeSantis has managed to secure only 17% of his funds from small-dollar donors, with a significant 71% coming from donors contributing $2,000 or more.
This stark contrast highlights the robust support Trump enjoys among the grassroots, while DeSantis relies more heavily on larger donations from affluent individuals.
The data aligns with the strength of support within the Make America Great Again (MAGA) working and middle-class demographic for President Trump. The overwhelming number of donors backing Trump’s campaign since June 2016 has been unparalleled in Republican political history, demonstrating the extent of his appeal among the voting base.
With 82% of small donors rallying behind him, Trump’s campaign strategy appears to resonate powerfully with Main Street supporters, showcasing the inverse scenario of DeSantis’ Wall Street backing.
The implications of Trump’s significant small-donor support are profound for his potential presidential bid in 2024. Grassroots enthusiasm translates into repeat contributions, offering a clear advantage for sustained fundraising efforts throughout the campaign.
In contrast, relying on larger donations might cause DeSantis to reach contribution limits early, potentially impacting the longevity of his campaign.
Trump’s substantial lead is not only reflected in his grassroots support but also evident in key states like Iowa and South Carolina. According to RealClearPolitics (RCP), Trump commands a formidable 50.7% of support in the GOP primary in Iowa, dwarfing DeSantis’ 19% share. Moreover, Race to the WH projects Trump’s sweeping victory in the 2024 primary, including battleground states like Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
Trump’s popularity in Iowa was further validated by a recent American Greatness/National Research Inc. survey, which found him maintaining a double-digit lead with 42% support. Meanwhile, DeSantis has experienced a decline, dropping from 21% to 15% over the last two weeks. This 27-point gap between the two candidates marks a significant shift from their earlier neck-to-neck competition.
The lead that Trump enjoys in Iowa is emblematic of his broader national support within the Republican Party. Monmouth’s recent poll indicates an impressive 32-point lead over DeSantis for the 2024 nomination, showcasing a mammoth 44-point advantage among likely primary voters, as revealed by Rasmussen.
Despite these favorable numbers, Trump’s Iowa lead may face challenges due to recent missteps, including Fair-Side Chats disputes with popular figures like Gov. Kim Reynolds and skipping the state’s Family Leadership Summit. These events have opened doors for DeSantis, providing potential opportunities for other GOP candidates.