Money matters: How GOP candidates are raising, spending their dollars

Wednesday night’s debate could be a key moment for Republican campaigns and their finances.
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - Wednesday night’s debate could be a key moment for Republican campaigns and their finances.

“Candidates who do well tonight will have an opportunity to raise money,” Bill McCoshen, NBC15 Republican analyst, said. “[Ron DeSantis] raised the most money early on. Money sort of stalled out on him when the campaign appeared to hit a rough spot. If he has a good night tonight, I expect the money will turn back on for Ron DeSantis.”

The Florida governor, according to the most recent data by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), had about half the cash that Donald Trump had on hand in late June.

McCoshen believes to win a major campaign, a candidate needs three things: money, organization and message.

Despite being early in the presidential primary season, money remains an important factor in determining a candidate’s success. Even being qualified for the debate required a certain fundraising threshold, according to the Republican National Convention.

“I think it’ll be the most expensive presidential race in US history,” McCoshen said.

He believes the presidential showdown could ultimately come down to two incumbents.

“There will be a lot of money trying to motivate a very small percentage of undecided voters. Most voters have already made up their mind in the rematch,” he said.

NBC15′s Democratic Analyst Mike Browne also believes the battleground of the Badger State will likely see a significant amount of spending.

“The campaigns are going to put resources where the race is close and where they think they can win,” he said. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016. In 2020, Joe Biden won the state.

When it comes to spending, Browne says how quickly money is spent, or the burn rate, also matters.

Voters can view finance numbers on the FEC website here.

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