Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Adelson gave $75 million to a super PAC that flooded battleground states with anti-Joe Biden ads in September, a huge investment from the GOP megadonors as President Donald Trump slipped in the polls.
The Adelsons gave the massive sum to Preserve America PAC, accounting for roughly 90 percent of the group’s fundraising in September, according to a person familiar with the group’s finances who shared details with POLITICO ahead of the group’s campaign finance filing.
In total, Preserve America raised $83.76 million between its creation on Aug. 31 and the end of September. Other major donors include Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, who gave $5 million, investment banker Warren Stephens, who gave $2 million, and businesswoman Diane Hendricks, who gave $1 million.
The group will report spending $77 million in September, with almost all of it — just under $76 million — on independent-expenditure ads pillorying Biden. In just over a month of activity, Preserve America has become one of the largest outside spenders in politics, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, trailing only the pro-Biden super PAC Priorities USA Action and America First Action, another long-running pro-Trump group, among super PACs focused on the presidential race.
The money for Preserve America more than doubled the Adelsons’ prior giving to Republican candidates and committees for the 2020 election cycle, according to FEC data. The couple had previously contributed more than $54 million, including $50 million to Senate Leadership Fund, the GOP super PAC focused on defending the Senate majority.
The Adelsons’ cash infusion backing Trump comes despite some tension between the president and the megadonor. In a phone call this summer, before the founding of Preserve America, Trump confronted Adelson about why he wasn’t doing more to support his reelection. At the time, Adelson chose not to escalate the iight with the president, POLITICO reported at the time.
The donations come as Trump’s once yawning cash advantage over Biden has crumbled. Biden announced Wednesday that he and his affiliated committees raised a record-smashing $383 million in the month of September, and they entered the final stretch of the race with $432 million in the bank.
Trump has not yet announced the latest details of his campaign finances, but reports from some arms of his fundraising operation are due to the FEC by midnight on Thursday. The campaign itself must file a new report by the end of Tuesday.
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