Former President Donald Trump Heads to Unlikely Deep Blue State to Raise Campaign Funds

Former President Donald Trump heads to deep blue California Thursday night to kick off a three-day fundraising trip as he builds resources for his 2024 re-election match-up with President Joe Biden.

The former president will headline a dinner to raise funds hosted by Chamath Palihapitiya and David Sachs, tech investors, two of Silicon Valley’s heaviest hitters, and co-hosts of the “All-In” podcast.

The sold-out event’s tickets range from $50,000 per person to get in the door to $500,000 per couple for special access as part of the host committee.

“I think it is just very telling; I would never have predicted that you’d have a sold-out fundraiser targeting tech leaders in Pacific Heights and for a Republican candidate,” said Republican National Committee (RNC) member from California, Harmeet Dhillon.

Longtime Bay Area-based attorney Dhillon, part of Trump’s legal coalition, is attending the fundraiser.

Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, a potential 2024 running mate and Trump ally who spent years in the San Francisco area working for hedge funds in the tech sector was instrumental in putting the top-dollar fundraiser together. Trump will head south to Beverly Hills for a fundraiser Friday and a finance event Saturday in Newport Beach, Orange County.

The trip does not mean Trump’s campaign believes overwhelmingly dark-blue California might be up for grabs. 

Instead, Trump’s trip, like two fundraisers headlined in the Bay Area Wednesday by Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden’s SF area fundraisers last month, is the most recent proof the Golden State remains a critical cash cow for campaign funds.

On Monday, the Trump campaign said it and the RNC, fueled partly by the former president’s guilty verdicts in his Manhattan criminal trial, raised an astounding $141 million in May fundraising.

Former President Trump was found guilty of all 34 felony counts in the first trial of a current or former president in the nation’s history.

Trump’s campaign raked in almost $53 million after the NYC verdict

Trump’s campaign touted that in the first 24 hours after the verdict Thursday evening, it and the RNC took in almost $53 million in fundraising, counted toward May’s total.

Joe Biden’s campaign also raised money after the verdict against Trump, with a source saying, “The 24 hours after the verdict were one of the best fundraising 24 hours of the Biden campaign since launch.”

Trump has aimed to close the fundraising gap with the current president. In April, the RNC and his campaign outraised the Biden campaign and DNC for the first time.

On Wednesday, Make America Great Again Inc., the leading super PAC supporting the Trump campaign, said it raised almost $70 million in May.

Public opinion polling and fundraising are critical metrics used to measure candidates’ and their campaigns’ strength. Money raised can be used to strengthen get-out-the-vote operations and grassroots outreach, travel, ads, and staffing, among other necessities.