WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and the Republican Party together raised $105 million in the second quarter, with Trump’s re-election campaign taking in $54 million of that total, the president’s campaign said on Tuesday.
The Republican National Committee brought in $51 million from April to June, the campaign said in a statement. Together, the two entities have $100 million in cash on hand, with $56 million for Trump’s campaign and $44 million for the RNC, it said.
The two groups said the uptick in donations would allow them to double their digital investment to raise money and target donors online as they seek to secure Trump’s second four-year term.
A senior Trump campaign official said the haul will allow the campaign to consider organizing a turnout operation in several states that Trump lost in 2016, including Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Minnesota and perhaps even Oregon.
“Our intention has always been to win where the president won in 2016 and we think there is an opportunity in other states where the president was close,” the official said.
But a veteran Republican strategist in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump needs to concentrate most of his effort on repeating victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida.
“That’s the whole campaign for Trump,” the strategist said.
Trump made the unprecedented decision to file for re-election on the day he took office in 2017, allowing his campaign to hire staff and keep organizational efforts in motion. Traditionally, presidents have waited until after their second year in office to begin building a re-election campaign.
“The RNC’s record-breaking fundraising has allowed us to identify troves of new supporters online and continue investing in our unprecedented field program,” committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a separate statement.
Fundraisers for both parties expect the 2020 election cycle to ultimately cost more than $1 billion.
Democrats have been eager to donate, allowing their candidates collectively to raise more than Republicans. Even after spending for primary fights, they are expected to keep pace with Trump’s campaign war chest.
The RNC and Trump’s campaign have linked their financial and operational forces before the November 2020 presidential election.
In the first quarter of 2019, Trump’s campaign raised more than $30 million and the RNC took in nearly $46 million from January to March.
Trump, a real estate developer and former reality television star, had never held public office before besting 16 other Republicans to win the nomination and the 2016 U.S. election. McDaniel has dismissed any notion of a Republican challenger to Trump in 2020.
More than 20 Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination to challenge Trump for the White House next year.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday reported raising nearly $25 million in this year’s second quarter – triple his first-quarter haul – putting him in the Democratic Party’s top tier.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday that he raised $18 million in the same time.
Other Democrats are expected to announce their second-quarter fundraising totals in coming days as the July 15 Federal Election Commission deadline approaches.
Sanders of Vermont and Kamala Harris of California led the Democratic pack in fundraising earlier in the year.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Ginger Gibson and Steve Holland; editing by Doina Chiacu, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)