Trump gets warm reception and piles of campaign cash during sunny blue state swing

Trump gets warm reception and piles of campaign cash during sunny blue state swing

Former President Trump’s three days in Democrat-dominated California turned out to be lucrative in many ways.

When all the money is counted, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is expected to haul in roughly $27.5 million from three fundraisers he held in California and one in Las Vegas, Nevada, late last week and this past weekend, a senior campaign official told Fox News.

And the Trump campaign said an additional $6 million was raised for outside groups supporting his 2024 election rematch with President Biden.

But the former president also officially landed the endorsement of a major tech investor at his first fundraiser on Thursday, drew a large crowd of supporters as he arrived at an Orange County fundraiser on Saturday, and bracketed his California swing with rallies Thursday and Sunday in the crucial swing states of Arizona and Nevada.


Trump campaign senior adviser Brian Hughes pointed to what he called “massive turnouts at public events and fundraising events this weekend” as he emphasized that “donors at every level are giving us the resources we need, and enthusiastic voters in every corner of the country are creating an unstoppable movement to Make American Great Again.”

Thursday’s fundraiser was hosted by David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya, two of the heaviest hitters in Silicon Valley and co-hosts of the hot “All-In” podcast. And it was held at Sacks’ multimillion-dollar home in the tony Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, which is a blue bastion.

“When we agreed to do this event, we started off – the question was whether we could just raise $5 million, and that was the goal because as you well know, the Bay Area, is sort of a liberal bastion, and so we thought that $5 million might be a big lift,” Sacks said in an interview on FOX Business’ “Kudlow” on Friday.


But the fundraiser ended up bringing in approximately $12 million, more than doubling initial expectations, according to the Trump campaign.

And hours before the event, Sacks endorsed Trump. 

The former president followed up the San Francisco fundraiser with big bucks finance events Friday in Beverly Hills and Saturday in Newport Beach, where some 3,000 supporters greeted Trump, according to local police.

The trip doesn’t mean the Trump campaign thinks overwhelmingly blue California may be in play. 

Instead, Trump’s appearances – like those of two sold-out fundraisers in the Bay Area on Wednesday headlined by Vice President Harris and Biden’s San Francisco area fundraisers last month – are the latest proof that the Golden State remains a crucial ATM for campaign cash.

“Republicans don’t do well in votes, but they do well in money in California,” longtime political analyst Bill Schneider told Fox News. 


Schneider noted that the late GOP President Ronald Reagan, who lived for decades in the Golden State, “really blazed the trail of fundraising for Republicans in California.”

But he added that “both Democrats and Republicans use California for an ATM machine.”

Biden returns to California on Saturday, to team up with former President Obama, Hollywood superstars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, for a star-studded fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles.

A top Golden State Republican told Fox News that fundraising not only brings in campaign cash, but that it also sends a message.

“In California, there are many voters who seek a change in the White House, and contributing to presidential campaigns is a crucial way for us to make our voices heard beyond the ballot box. This form of participation sends a powerful message to the rest of the country that not all Californians align with the current political climate,” Corrin Rankin, California Republican Party vice chair, said.

“California stands as a case study of the failure of Democratic policies, with many residents experiencing firsthand the negative impacts of these policies,” Rankin argued. “As a result, Californians understand better than most the consequences of another four years under Biden’s administration. This has galvanized many to fundraise actively for a better alternative… Our fundraising success here underscores the diverse political landscape of California and the strong desire among many of its citizens for a different direction at the national level.”

The cash raised in the past few days will boost already potent Trump fundraising from the past couple of weeks.

Trump’s campaign last week said it and the Republican National Committee (RNC), fueled in part by the former president’s guilty verdicts in his criminal trial, hauled in a stunning $141 million in fundraising in May.

Trump was found guilty of all 34 felony counts in the first trial of a former or current president in the nation’s history.

The former president’s campaign highlighted that in the first 24 hours following the verdict, it and the RNC brought in nearly $53 million in fundraising, which counted toward May’s total. 

The Biden campaign has also been fundraising off the Trump verdict, and a source familiar told Fox News that “the 24 hours after the verdict were one of the best fundraising 24 hours of the Biden campaign since launch.”

Trump has been aiming to close his fundraising gap with Biden. In April, his campaign and the RNC for the first time outraised the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee. 

Fundraising, along with public opinion polling, is a key metric used to measure the strength of candidates and their campaigns. Money raised can be used to build up grassroots outreach and get-out-the-vote operations, staffing, travel and ads, among other things.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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