Political Notebook

California Republican donors not opening wallets for Trump

Over the decades, California often has served as an ATM of sorts for Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, providing a reliable source of money for both parties even as the state tends to vote Democratic.

Republican candidate Donald Trump, though, has collected a relatively small amount in the state to date. Through June, Trump raised $2 million from California donors. By comparison, in the last presidential campaign, then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney had raised $25 million from Californians through June 2012.

That lag is due in part to Trump’s unusual approach to fundraising: He vowed early on to largely fund his own campaign, and only recently has made a push to raise money for the general election. But the contributions have been slow in recent months, even as he courted donors.

In June, shortly after clinching the Republican nomination and beginning his fundraising efforts, Trump raised about $1.1 million from California donors. During the same month in 2012, Romney raised more than $5 million.

Republican donors who supported Romney mostly have stayed on the sidelines with Trump. While about 46,800 Californians gave more than $200 to Romney during the 2012 campaign, about 3,100 have given to Trump so far this election cycle, according to a Bee review of Federal Election Commission data.

Those figures include donations to the candidates’ campaigns but not donations to the Republican Party or to “Super PACs” that independently support candidates. According to campaign tracker opensecrets.org, the Rebuilding America Now Super PAC, which supports Trump, has raised $2 million from Californians through June, all from a single donor, real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer.

By comparison, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton raised $46 million from California donors through June, excluding donations under $200. The Priorities USA Action Super PAC, which supports Clinton, has raised about $22 million through June from California donors.

The Sacramento Bee’s Data Tracker offers a deeper look at the numbers behind today’s news. Phillip Reese: 916-321-1137, @PhillipHReese