Midterm Memo: MAGA, not mega — Trump dips into campaign coffers


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resident Donald Trump has belatedly jumped into the midterm elections with financial support for Republican Senate candidates he vouched for in the primary but who have since struggled against their Democratic competition.

So far, Trump’s investment is modest as he continues to husband his vast resources, presumably for a 2024 White House bid (surprise, surprise).

Through MAGA Inc., a newly formed super PAC, the former president is scheduled to air $1.2 million worth of television advertising in Arizona for GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, $954,000 in Georgia for Herschel Walker, $653,000 in Nevada for Adam Laxalt, $1.2 million in Ohio for J.D. Vance, and $829,000 in Pennsylvania for Dr. Mehmet Oz. Considering how late these advertising buys were and the premium outside groups pay for television time, this $4.8 million spend is particularly not a lot of money.

“While it’s great he’s helping someone other than himself, thus far, the investments this late are not that significant in the grand scheme of all the spending going on,” said Nick Everhart, a Republican strategist in Ohio. “This all feels forced and more about saying he did something versus doing something significant and meaningful, which his outside group could have done.”

Through Aug. 31, Save America, Trump’s primary political action committee, had raised $103.8 million for the 2022 election cycle and reported a war chest of $92.8 million. Under federal election law, there is nothing preventing the former president from spending that money on campaign advertising to boost his endorsed candidates.

Other than Laxalt, who looks strong against Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), the Senate candidates Trump propelled to the nomination earlier this year are still laboring to break free of their Democratic opponents despite a favorable political environment marked by President Joe Biden’s low job approval ratings, skyrocketing inflation, and rising crime.


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