What Trump’s major donors are spending in the midterms

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Of President Donald Trump’s major donors from 2016, Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus has spent the most on the 2018 midterm elections, so far.  (Barry Williams/Getty Images)

Many of the same wealthy donors who financially supported President Donald Trump in 2016 have spent millions so far this cycle.

Some of these individuals have spent more this year than they did on Trump in 2016. So far this cycle, the top 20 Trump donors have given, in total, $40.7 million to Republican candidates, committees, PACs and various outside spending groups.

One such wealthy individual is Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot. He and his wife, Billi Wilma, have donated $7.9 million, which is more than the $7 million they donated to Trump during the 2016 election. Marcus has given most of that money to outside money groups.

Ronald Cameron, CEO of the poultry company Mountaire Corp., spent $6.5 million on 2018, mostly on outside groups. During the 2016 election, Cameron gave Trump a total of $2 million.

Robert Mercer, the billionaire co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, has donated $5.9 million so far, which went mostly to party and outside spending groups. This is a small figure compared to the $15.5 million he and his wife, Diana Mercer, gave Trump in 2016.

Andrew Beal, a Dallas banker, gave $6 million so far this year, and Geoff Palmer, a real estate developer, gave $4.3 million, both giving mainly to various outside spending groups. In 2016, Beal and Palmer spent $2.1 million and $5 million on Trump, respectively.

Another notable top donor is Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has so far given $1.3 million this cycle, mainly to outside spending groups. In 2016, Thiel gave a total of $1 million to the president’s campaign efforts.

Some of Trump’s big financial supporters in 2016 have not donated nearly as much this cycle as they did to his campaign two years ago. For example, Linda McMahon, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has only spent $5,400 so far in 2018. She gave Trump more than $6 million in 2016.

Stephen Feinberg, a billionaire hedge fund manager, gave Trump $1.4 million in 2016, and he has spent a total of $250 in 2018.

A number of the super PACs, committees and outside spending groups receiving funds from these top 20 donors have also financially supported Trump.

America First Action, a conservative super PAC, has received $8.1 million this cycle from Trump’s strongest financial supporters. In total for 2018, the super PAC raised $33.9 million.

A super PAC supporting Republican senators and candidates, Senate Leadership Fund, received $7.3 million from these 20 donors. So far this cycle, the super PAC has raised a total of $121.4 million.

Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC supporting Republican House candidates, received $4.2 million in donations from these wealthy individuals, a small fraction of its total donations of $143.5 million for 2018.

The Republican National Committee, the main fundraising arm for the Republican Party, collected $3.2 million so far from these donors in 2018. The committee received $409.5 million in total this cycle.

These donors collectively gave $3 million to Americans for Prosperity Action, the Koch Brothers’ super PAC. At this point in the 2018 cycle, the super PAC has raised $11.7 million.

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