One of Donald Trump‘s top presidential donors from 2016 has taken a step back from supporting his latest election bid.
Robert Mercer, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, donated $15.5m with his wife, Diana, to a number of organisations that supported Mr Trump and his campaign efforts in 2016. The couple also put up another $1m for the inaugural committee.
Not only did Mr Mercer and his family provide needed donations for the campaign, but they also brought Cambridge Analytica, a data company funded by the billionaire, into the fold.
His daughter, Rebekah Mercer, was on the board for the data-gathering company, and the information that was gathered from the company assisted the Trump campaign in its creation of social media ads that would influence voters.
Mr Mercer also helped staff the now-president for the White House by providing three key employees for Mr Trump: Citizens United President David Bossie as deputy campaign manager, pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager, and Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon as his campaign CEO.
“The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution,” Mr Bannon said in 2017, according to The New Yorker.
Now Mr Trump is running against former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 presidential race, and has found himself trailing in the polls nationwide as well as a number of key states.
In 2016, the president was also trailing the then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But he had deep financial backing, which was led by Mr Mercer and his daughter Rebekah.
Five people in the same sphere as the Mercer family have told Business Insider it was unlikely the billionaire would re-emerge prior to November with funding for the president.
A Republican Party official close to the Trump campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Business Insider, said the campaign was not expecting to receive financial or any other support from the Mercer family.
“The Mercer cavalry,” the official said, “isn’t coming over the hill.”Another associate of Rebekah Mercer told the publication: “They’re 100, 100, 100 per cent out.”
News of the Mercer family removing itself from the Trump campaign efforts first started in 2018 after public scrutiny heightened over their role in the 2016 campaign, CNBC reported.
Mr Merer and his wife contributed just $400,000 to pro-Trump super PAC, the Great America PAC. Nothing was contributed to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that splits money between the president’s campaign, the Republican National Committee, and 11 state Republican committees.
Then a lone contribution came on 14 February with Mr Mercer donating $355,200 to Trump Victory. But Mr Trump’s committee only saw $5,600 of that sum as its the legal maximum for a primary and general election combined.
Rebekah Mercer, on the other hand, has not donated anything to Mr Trump’s bid for a second term.The lack of these key backers doesn’t mean the president doesn’t have cash on hand to get him through the next three months of the election run. His campaign reported he had $113m to spend on 30 June.
In comparison, the Biden campaign revealed it had $109m on hand when entering the month of July, as the Democratic nominee has boosted his fundraising efforts in recent months to compete against Mr Trump.
If the Mercer family were to decide to back the Trump campaign late into his election efforts, it was expressed now was the time if they wanted their funding to have any positive impact on the campaign. But so far, it has appeared these contributions are unlikely.