WASHINGTON — It's never too soon to start running for president.
President Trump’s campaign collected $7.1 million during the first three months of this year, rocketing to an early start for an election that’s more three years away, according to a campaign report filed Friday evening.
By comparison, President Obama raised a fraction of that amount — just $1.15 million — during the first three months of his first term in the White House.
The rapid fundraising pace set by Trump and the Republican National Committee underscore their ability to tap into the online donor base that helped the billionaire capture the White House last year. Trump’s haul included more than $3.5 million transferred from joint fundraising committees he established with the party.
In all, Trump’s campaign and the party have said they raised more than $53 million between Jan. 1 and March 31. Party officials say those fundraising efforts attracted 250,000 new online donors, underscoring the Republican president’s continued appeal with small contributors even as parts of his agenda run into roadblocks in Congress and the courts.
More than $3 out of every $4 raised directly by Trump’s campaign committee came in amounts of $200 or smaller.
Trump started April with nearly $8.4 million in cash reserves, his Friday night filing with the Federal Election Commission shows.
The real-estate magnate filed his 2020 re-election paperwork on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, to notify election regulators that he had already raised enough money to trigger financial reporting requirements. A month later, Trump staged a campaign-style rally in Florida.
His campaign already has spent $6.3 million during the first three months of the year, much of it on travel expenses and campaign merchandise. A smattering of payments went to Trump-owned properties, including Trump International Hotel, his 263-room hotel a short walk from the White House.