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GOP billionaire donors shun some Trump candidates, give to Senate PAC

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President Donald Trump shakes hands with Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a Keep America Great Rally on the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, November 4, 2019.

Yuri Gripas | Reuters

Republican megadonors want the GOP to take back the Senate, but they do not trust that a few of former President Donald Trump’s top picks can catapult their party to a victory in November.

Billionaire financiers Paul Singer, Dan Loeb and Larry Ellison have to date avoided donating on to some or all of Trump’s staunchest allies running for Senate within the midterms: J.D. Vance in Ohio, Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia, Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, in response to Federal Election Commission records and folks conversant in the billionaires’ donations.

All of those candidates have been endorsed by Trump. And many of them have previously sided with the previous president on the false claims that the 2020 presidential election had widespread voter fraud — an accusation that is been debunked by Trump’s former attorney general, Bill Barr, federal courts and a number of other other top Republicans who served in Trump’s administration.

One GOP fundraiser said, “They might be lighting their money on fire in the event that they got totally swayed by these candidates.” That strategist is advising clients to, as a substitute, give to the super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — the Senate Leadership Fund — because “they’ve the very best polls and so they won’t sink money into races they know they cannot win.” The super PAC is run by Steven Law, McConnell’s former chief of staff.

Ad tracker AdImpact last week said that the Senate Leadership Fund has canceled the remaining of its TV bookings in Arizona, a state where the campaign poll tracking website FiveThirtyEight shows Masters trailing Kelly by greater than seven percentage points.

Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event on the eve of the first, on August 01, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

“Leader McConnell will find yourself saving the GOP candidates that Trump endorsed. He is concentrated and doesn’t let the noise get in the way in which,” veteran Republican fundraiser Jack Oliver told CNBC. McConnell has notably began being featured at fundraisers for all five of the candidates, recently showing up at events for Walker, Oz, Masters and Vance.

FiveThirtyEight shows Oz trailing his Democratic rival John Fetterman by greater than six percentage points and Walker trailing his competitor, Warnock, by greater than two percentage points.

Vance and Laxalt are each in statistical dead heats with their Democratic rivals. Each GOP candidates are down by a median of lower than a percentage point, in response to FiveThirtyEight, which calculates the typical of several polls.

Mehmet Oz, US Republican Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, speaks during a campaign event in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US, on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Hannah Beier | Bloomberg | Getty Images

All five of the Republican candidates going into the third quarter of the 12 months were outraised and outspent and had less money available in contrast to their Democratic rivals, in response to FEC data tracked by nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.

Fundraising

Arizona
Masters (R): $4.9 million
Kelly (D): $52.4 million

Georgia
Walker (R): $20 million
Warnock (D) $60.3 million

Nevada
Laxalt (R): $7.2 million
Cortez Masto (D): $29.1 million

Ohio
Vance (R): $3.6 million
Ryan (D): $21.5 million

Pennsylvania
Oz (R): $18.9 million
Fetterman (D): $25.8 million

Yet the Senate Leadership Fund has recently made up the funding gap, in response to NBC News.

McConnell has also personally attended fundraisers for among the candidates. One among the lawmaker’s former campaign advisors, Scott Jennings, posted a photograph of McConnell on Twitter at a fundraiser for Oz, Walker and North Carolina Senate candidate Ted Budd. Jennings said the event “raised big $$$” and suggested it was McConnell who was leading the party to a possible victory. The Washington Post reported that a recent McConnell fundraiser for Masters raised $105,000 for the campaign.

McConnell’s support comes as billionaires pull back their funding to candidates.

Paul Singer, a billionaire Republican financier and founding father of Elliot Management, has told GOP strategists that he and members of his club of rich political donors called the American Opportunity Alliance, plans to proceed to finance the Senate Leadership Fund — but not necessarily individual candidates in the ultimate weeks of the midterm elections, in response to one Republican strategist who’s working the elections.

Paul Singer, founding father of Elliott Management, speaking at Delivering Alpha in Latest York on Sept. 13, 2016.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Singer has given $5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund since late last 12 months, in response to FEC records. He’s donated two separate $2,900 checks to each the Laxalt and Walker campaigns in March but nothing to Oz, Masters or Vance.

A spokesperson for Singer declined to comment.

Hedge fund executive Dan Loeb has declined to make his usual big-dollar donations to date during this election cycle, telling Republican fundraisers in Latest York this summer that he was temporarily pausing major campaign contributions to deal with running his firm, Third Point, in response to one fundraiser who was turned down by the billionaire.

Through the 2020 election cycle, Loeb and his wife gave almost $4 million, combined, to GOP campaigns and just over $200,000 to Democratic-led efforts, in response to data compiled OpenSecrets.

Daniel Loeb, founder and chief executive officer of Third Point LLC

Jacob Kepler | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Loebs have donated just over $2 million during this election cycle to date, recently giving $5,000 in August to Jersey Values PAC, which is run by Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s, D-N.J., leadership’s group, in response to FEC records and OpenSecrets data. Dan Loeb has personally written two separate $2,900 checks to each Walker’s and Oz’s campaigns but nothing yet to Masters, Laxalt or Vance.

Loeb gave $250,000 each to 2 GOP super PACs in March, FEC records show. Those checks went to the McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund and the Congressional Leadership Fund, an out of doors group allied with House GOP leaders. Through the last two-year election cycle, Loeb gave $800,000 to the Senate fund and $300,000 to to the House one. Loeb could kick up his donations to those groups over the following few weeks, and it’s unclear if he’s committed to donating toward the three other Trump endorsed candidates, an individual conversant in Loeb’s contributions said.

A spokesperson for Loeb declined to comment.

Ellison, the billionaire chair of tech company Oracle, helps Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., whom he considers a private friend, and just a few other friends running within the midterms, in response to an individual conversant in the matter. But he’s otherwise refused to make commitments to other candidates, this person said.

Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp., speaks throughout the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Oct. 25, 2015.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ellison has donated no less than $20 million toward the pro-Scott super PAC, the Opportunity Matters Fund, in response to FEC records. Data from OpenSecrets shows that the super PAC has spent no less than $1 million backing Scott, who’s up for reelection this cycle, and over $7 million backing other Republicans running for Congress. Records show Ellison has not given a single dollar to Masters, Laxalt, Vance, Oz or Walker.

Real estate titan Stephen Ross hasn’t given a penny yet to Vance, Walker, Masters, Laxalt or Oz, in response to FEC filings.

Ross was criticized for hosting a fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee at his Hamptons home in 2019, but has distanced himself from a few of Trump’s favorite candidates this election cycle. He’s donated over $685,000 to a mixture of Republicans, Democrats and their affiliated outside groups this cycle. His biggest checks to date have gone to GOP organizations tied to Republican leadership, corresponding to House GOP campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee and a joint fundraising committee called Take Back the House 2022, federal election records show.

A spokesperson for Ross declined to comment.

Steve Wynn, a billionaire who was previously accused by multiple of girls of sexual harassment, has change into a reliable donor to a lot of the five candidates and out of doors groups supporting them, in response to FEC records. Wynn, who once ran Wynn Resorts, has denied the harassment allegations.

Steve Wynn

Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

He’s given no less than $2,700 each to Masters, Laxalt, Oz and Vance but nothing yet to Walker. He’s donated over $10 million toward Our American Century, an excellent PAC spending thousands and thousands to assist Republicans this cycle, including over $900,000 supporting Oz.

Wynn’s lawyer didn’t respond a request for comment.

Dan Eberhart, a longtime Republican donor, told CNBC that big contributions corresponding to Wynn’s matter greater than ever to the GOP with so many tight races just weeks before Election Day.

“It comes at an important time when Republicans need resources to stay competitive in battleground states,” Eberhart said.

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