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Image: Republican Presidential Candidates Speak At The Moms For Liberty Summit
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on July 1, 2023 in Philadelphia.Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

Eyes on 2024: Fundraising gimmicks galore

GOP presidential hopefuls Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum launched unusual fundraising programs on Monday.

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Two GOP presidential hopefuls are deploying an unusual fundraising tactic: giving their donors cold, hard cash. 

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy launched an unusual fundraising program on Monday, per NBC News’ Katherine Koretski. The campaign, which has already surpassed 40,000 donors, plans to enlist donors to help raise money from other contributors, and says it will give those donors 10% what they raise. 

And North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum began a fundraising push encouraging 50,000 donors to give just $1 to his campaign — and in return they would receive a $20 Visa or Mastercard gift card

And 50,000 donors isn’t an arbitrary number; it’s part of a bid to reach the minimum donor threshold of 40,000 contributors necessary to qualify for the first GOP presidential debate, per the requirements from the Republican National Committee. 

Campaign finance experts told the New York Times that the move raises questions about whether Burgum is violating a ban on straw donations, since he is effectively making a contribution to his own campaign in the name of these small-dollar donors. 

In other campaign news … 

Youths! Young voters may prove to be a decisive voting bloc in 2024, and NBC News’ Sahil Kapur delves into how the Biden campaign is working to energize them. One pollster who specializes in young voters told Kapur that there are “flashing red” warning signs that young voters might not turnout at record levels again. 

Caught in the crossfire: Former President Donald Trump attacked Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday for declining to endorse a candidate in the GOP presidential primary, while other contenders for the Republican nomination, including former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended her. 

On the air: A conservative, anti-Trump group called Win it Back PAC, linked to the Club for Growth, has booked almost $3.5 million worth of ad time in July, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm. NBC News’ Sahil Kapur points out that the 60-second ad takes 45 seconds to “gently” question whether Trump is electable. 

Trump trial: Trump’s attorneys argued in a new court filing that his trial relating to his handling of classified documents should be delayed, potentially after the 2024 election. 

Pence’s take: Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been outspoken in his support for Ukraine, said Monday that he support’s Biden’s controversial decision to send cluster munitions to the country. 

Facing off: Five GOP candidates — DeSantis, Pence, Ramaswamy, Haley and Sen. Tim Scott — will participate in a forum on July 14 hosted by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson (Trump, the frontrunner, is not expected to attend). The event will take place at the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, a gathering of Christian conservatives, per The Messenger.

An up-Hill battle: Actor Hill Harper announced Monday that he is running for Senate in Michigan, taking on Rep. Elissa Slotkin for the Democratic nomination. 

All shook up: New fundraising reports show that Mississippi GOP Gov. Tate Reeves has a campaign war chest that is five times larger than his likely Democratic challenger, state Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, per the Associated Press. Presley, who is related to the late rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley, is hitting the airwaves for the first time, launching a $161,000 TV buy starting Tuesday, per AdImpact.