The Megadonors and Their Massive Contributions: A Closer Look at the Most Expensive Election Ever

The Megadonors and Their Massive Contributions: A Closer Look at the Most Expensive Election Ever

As the election season heats up, megadonors from both sides of the political spectrum are opening their wallets and pouring in massive amounts of money to politicians and outside groups. According to recent filings, this upcoming election is projected to be the most expensive one in history. One such businessman, Timothy Mellon, who has previously supported super PACs for former President Donald Trump and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., made headlines by donating a whopping $50 million to MAGA Inc., the super PAC backing Trump’s campaign, on the last day of May. This generous contribution, which coincided with Trump’s legal troubles in New York, is not only the largest federal individual campaign donation in this election cycle so far, but it also ranks as one of the largest donations of all time. Mellon’s total contributions to political organizations have exceeded $100 million this election cycle, with the $50 million donation to MAGA Inc. representing a significant portion of the $68.8 million raised by the group in May.

On the other side of the aisle, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a one-time presidential candidate, showed his support for President Joe Biden’s re-election by contributing $19 million to Biden’s top super PAC, FF PAC. Bloomberg also reportedly donated an additional $929,600 to Biden’s joint fundraising committee. In a surprising move, venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz each donated $12.5 million to Fairshake, a pro-cryptocurrency super PAC. GOP megadonors Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein contributed a combined $10 million to MAGA Inc., while Democratic businessmen James Simons and Fred Eychaner collectively donated $6.5 million to a super PAC supporting House Democrats. Miriam Adelson, a billionaire known for her support of President Trump, gave $1 million to a super PAC backing GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Amidst these multimillion-dollar donations from well-known figures, an unexpected $10 million contribution came from Jay Scheide, a Massachusetts man listed as “not employed.” Scheide, who was previously a small-dollar donor, gave the progressive group Movement Voter PAC a significant sum. This shows that even individuals who are not traditionally associated with big political donations are getting involved in a big way this election cycle.

These contributions are just a glimpse into the staggering amounts of money being poured into political campaigns and outside groups as we approach the fall election. Both President Biden and former President Trump have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for their campaigns, with even more expected to be spent on key federal and statewide races. AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm, has projected that ad spending alone will surpass $10 billion, setting a new record for campaign expenditures.

The influx of money from megadonors is reshaping the landscape of political fundraising and spending in the United States. The significant contributions from individuals like Mellon, Bloomberg, and others underscore the outsized influence that wealthy donors have on the electoral process. As we head into what promises to be the most expensive election ever, the role of money in politics continues to be a topic of scrutiny and debate.


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