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The billionaires powering the 2024 Republican presidential candidates

Behind most 2024 White House contenders are a handful of billionaires flush with cash.

But unlike loving partners, these plutocrats aren’t necessarily married to their candidate and sometimes spread their support to multiple presidential aspirants while waiting to see who can gain the most traction.

“Right now, what I’m finding is that most of the major donors are giving a little bit to people … but not going all in on anybody yet,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Aug. 1.

There are exceptions. For instance, Las Vegas real estate and aerospace mogul Robert Bigelow (estimated net worth: $1 billion) has shelled out tens of millions of dollars to back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — though he recently indicated he was planning to pause donations for now.

Others, such as venture capitalist Peter Thiel, are keeping their financial powder dry and staying on the sidelines — at least for now.

Federal law caps how much cash megadonors can steer to campaigns directly, so many members of the 1% opt to give large sums of money to Super PACs backing contenders they favor or at least find interesting.

Recent mid-year filings with the Federal Election Commission have shed light on which deep-pocketed donors are bankrolling which Republican hopefuls.

The estimated net worth of each individual donor is in parentheses and according to Forbes’ real-time list unless otherwise indicated.

A billionaire in his own right, former President Donald Trump remains a fundraising powerhouse.

Past big-named backers, such as real estate heir Ronald Lauder ($4.4 billion) and private equity behemoth Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman ($32 billion) appear to be distancing themselves from the GOP frontrunner.

But that doesn’t appear to be hindering Trump’s fundraising performance. Last quarter, his joint fundraising committee, comprised of his 2024 campaign and the Save America PAC touted a roughly $35 million haul.

Multiple billionaires donated to the Trump-aligned Make America Great Again Inc. Super PAC during the first half of the year:

Phil Ruffin ($3.4 billion)— The 88-year-old casino and hotel mogul has given multiple $1 million donations to the MAGA PAC. Ruffin owns half of the Trump International Las Vegas and Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Sin City.

Multiple billionaires donated to the Trump-aligned Make America Great Again Inc. Super PAC during the first half of the year:

Ruffin has been active in recent election cycles, having sent money to back Trump during the 2016 election. He also donated to both Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008.

Charles Kushner (Family: $1.8 billion) — The real estate mogul, who received a late-term pardon from Trump in December 2020, was one of the largest donors to the MAGA PAC, contributing $1 million in June. He previously contributed to Obama in 2008.

Politics is a family affair for Kushner. His son Jared is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, though the couple have pointedly stepped back from the 77-year-old’s 2024 campaign.

Robert “Woody” Johnson ($3.7 billion) — Trump’s former ambassador to the United Kingdom and the co-owner of the New York Jets donated $1 million to the MAGA PAC in April.

Johnson has donated to benefit Trump in the past and has a history of donating to Republicans, including past presidential candidates John McCain and Tim Pawlenty.

The Sunshine State governor is practically in a fundraising league of his own. His campaign alone raked in roughly $20 million in the second quarter and the preeminent DeSantis-aligned Super PAC, Never Back Down finished out June with a whopping $96.8 million cash on hand, per FEC filings.

Some billionaire donors such as Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Peterffy have soured on DeSantis publicly over his anti-abortion and socially conservative stances.

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