When it comes to the number of donations under $200 that have been collected by each GOP candidate, there's a clear leader and it isn't even really close.
It may be hard to believe, given Trump's status as a businessman that deals with billions of dollars regularly, but the Republican who seems to be connecting with the normal people of America the best would have to be the former president right now.
Despite the man's history of dealing in millions and billions of dollars, over 80% of Trump's donations have consisted of individual contributions of under $200.
You might think it would have been the other way around, but it's actually Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who is heavily relying on megadonors to keep him in the race.
Unfortunately for fans of DeSantis, those massive donations seem to be coming in less frequently of late.
Professor Bruce Cain of Stanford University has spent much of his life examining the facts and stats around politics, so what he says matters. That's why it should be a huge concern for the rest of the GOP that Cain thinks that Trump is going to be sitting pretty with average Americans for quite some time.
"Trump has intense loyalty going for him and will squeeze his base for more funds with every indictment and trial. DeSantis is in a more precarious position if the big donors decide he can’t cut it," Professor Cain said.
Republican political consultant William Francis Buckley O'Reilly agreed that the amount of small donations a candidate is receiving is an extremely important metric in terms of his ability to win elections:
"Small-dollar donors are a good reflection of where rank-and-file voters are in any given election, and they’ve always been Trump’s ace-in-the-hole," he said.
Peter Roff, a contributing editor at Newsweek and a Republican political strategist, agreed:
Small donors are and always will be important. Their contributions should be viewed as an investment in the candidates they donate to. It’s a demonstration of loyalty. Moreover, changes in how money is raised have made them more rather than less significant.
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