With Election Day fast approaching and some Donald Trump-endorsed Republican nominees battling in highly competitive and high-profile races, the former president is dipping into his massive war chest to make some sizable investments to back those candidates.
After facing complaints that the GOP’s most ferocious fundraiser had failed to spread his wealth to help fellow Republicans in crucial Senate and gubernatorial contests, Trump over the past three weeks has opened his wallet to back MAGA-friendly Republican nominees in six key battleground states. And while the expenditures will have an instant impact in next month’s elections, they may also provide dividends to the former president in the 2024 White House race.
Make America Great Again Inc. (MAGA Inc.), the recently formed super PAC manned by top Trump advisers, on Thursday starts running a new ad in Michigan blasting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who’s facing a strengthening Republican challenge from Trump-endorsed conservative commentator Tudor Dixon. The Trump super PAC is spending at least half a million dollars to run the spot, according to the national ad tracking firm AdImpact.
The new commercial in Michigan follows ads that MAGA Inc. launched over the past three weeks to support Trump-backed GOP nominees in Arizona’s Senate and gubernatorial races, as well as Senate showdowns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Georgia. Officials with the super PAC tell Fox News that to date they’ve shelled out over $12 million to run the spots.
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While Trump for nearly a year and a half has been holding rallies across the country for his endorsed candidates, by this past summer there was growing resentment among many in the GOP consultant and operative world that the former president was hoarding his money to the detriment of underfunded Republican candidates running in the midterms. The move by Trump to set up MAGA Inc. to boost his endorsed candidates and expand his influence over the midterms has blunted some of that criticism.
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“As the leader of the Republican Party, President Trump is the most powerful force in politics. From a 99% endorsement record, hosting rallies across the country, dozens of tele-townhalls, and now a significant television campaign through Make America Great Again Inc., there is no doubt that President Trump is energizing voters and is reshaping American politics once again,” MAGA Inc. spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement to Fox News.
Pointing to MAGA Inc.’s spending, a veteran Republican consultant noted that “it’s a sizable amount when races are this close.”
But the expenditures to date by the Trump-aligned super PAC are just a fraction of the massive spending by the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with longtime Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, which is the top outside group backing Republican Senate incumbents and candidates.
While the mission of the new group is to send large sums of financial support to Trump-backed candidates running in key midterm races, MAGA Inc. could pay dividends for Trump should he follow through – as many expect – on his repeated flirtations and run for the White House again in 2024.
If some of the Trump-supported candidates go down to defeat next month, potentially costing the GOP the chance to win back the Senate majority, some veterans of statewide and presidential campaigns say Trump will get the blame, which could impact his likely push to win back the White House. MAGA Inc.’s boosting of these candidates may prevent such a scenario
“He’s covering his bets by betting on multiple potential winners, and I think he’s looking for a return on that investment, which is people who will support him in 2024 when he’s likely to have a primary,” noted the consultant, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely. “I think it’s about helping Trump Republicans. So, there’s a duality there. He’s looking to not only get people elected who will be on Team Trump, but he also certainly wants to create the perception that they were elected because of Trump, thus showing the power that he still has.”