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Almost all of Trump’s biggest 2020 super PAC donors refrain from giving to his rivals

A very low number — at least three — of the former president’s 2020 super PAC donors have donated to other GOP presidential candidates' super PACs this cycle.
Donald Trump Holds A Campaign Rally In Erie, Pennsylvania
Former President Donald Trump campaigning in Erie, Pa., on Saturday.Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

Very few of Donald Trump's top super PAC donors from the 2020 campaign have given to his rivals' super PACs this cycle, a new analysis of Federal Election Commission filings by CNBC and NBC News shows.

At least three of the former president's 2020 super PAC donors have donated to other GOP presidential candidates' super PACs, a low number that could suggest that these business leaders are sticking with Trump, sitting out the 2024 race or still deciding if they're going to send their money to his rivals.

Caroline Wren, a pro-Trump fundraiser, told CNBC in a statement that having so few big-money defections means these donors all see the polls showing the former president well ahead of his rivals and believe he’s going to win the Republican primary fight.

“The donors are coming to the same conclusion as Republican voters — the primary is over and Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee,” she said.

“It’s time for donors to coalesce around Donald Trump and invest in the ground game and infrastructure needed to win in the general election,” Wren added.

New York Times poll released Monday shows Trump with 54% of the support of likely GOP primary voters, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a distant second with 17%. No other candidate eclipsed 3%. 

Shipping magnate Richard Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, each donated $1 million to the Never Back Down super PAC, which is backing DeSantis’ bid to be the GOP nominee for the White House, new filings show. The couple gave more than $3 million combined in 2020 toward the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc., contributed more than $3 million combined to both America First Action and Preserve America, another super PAC that backed Trump in 2020. This year, Stephens contributed $1 million to America Strong and Free Action Inc., a super PAC backing former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Stephens also gave $50,000 this year to the Tell It Like It Is super PAC, which supports former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential bid, and $100,000 to Committed To America, a super PAC backing former Vice President Mike Pence’s candidacy.

Ronald Cameron, a longtime Arkansas-based businessman who gave more than $1 million in 2020 to super PACs supporting Trump, gave $500,000 to the same pro-Pence group.

Both Christie and Pence are among the candidates in the single digits within the recent Times poll. Hutchinson regularly polls behind both men.

Meanwhile, the Trump-allied super PAC Make America Great Again Inc. shows millions were raised from old allies of the former president including:

  • $1 million from Woody Johnson, New York Jets owner and former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom under Trump.
  • $1 million from veteran real estate mogul Charles Kushner, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s father, whom Trump pardoned before leaving office.
  • $2 million from casino magnate Phil Ruffin.
  • $50,000 from Haim Chera, an executive at Vornado Realty and son of businessman Stanley Chera, a longtime friend of Trump’s.

Blackstone CEO and major Trump donor Steve Schwarzman did not give anything to super PACs backing other candidates for president or to Trump’s orbit. He said a year after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill that he was ready to back a primary challenger to the former president.