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Wall Street Is Running Out of Time to Influence the GOP Nomination

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The 2024 US election cycle is kicking off with the notable absence of the wealthiest constituency in American politics: Donors from the world of finance.

So far, big investors haven’t opened their wallets for Republican frontrunner and former president Donald Trump. But they haven’t rallied around any of his challengers, either. In fact, they’re just as fatigued by the options as everyday American voters, many of whom grimace at the thought of a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden.“Look, I don’t have one friend that believes Trump or Biden should be our president,” said investor Kyle Bass, who sat down with the Big Take DC podcast. Bass is plugged into the world of political money and is close with major donors. “Two octogenarians, that each have a litany of their own problems, is the best that the US can serve up right now?” he asked.By this point in the election cycle in 2016, the last time Republicans were choosing a candidate, the top 10 party donors had given $5 million. Right now, they’ve given about $1.3 million, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Federal Election Commission records.Big investors were holding out hope for a viable challenger to Trump—a new standard-bearer for traditional Republican party principles like fiscal conservatism who also offers the predictability that their businesses and the markets rely on. But Trump’s outsized win in Iowa and momentum heading into New Hampshire’s primary next week makes that unlikely.

“Money takes time,” said Bloomberg politics editor Laura Davison. “You have to hire staff. You have to run advertisements. You have to create those advertisements. It’s not like you can put it in a campaign, and have it give you a bump in your poll numbers immediately.”Download and subscribe to the Big Take DC podcast on iHeart, Apple, Spotify, Bloomberg Carplay, or wherever you listen. On the show, each week host Saleha Mohsin will share one story about how money, politics, and power shape Washington—and the consequences for people in America and all over the world.

Producer: Julia Press

Mix engineer: Alex Sugiura

Senior Producer: Naomi Shavin

Editors: Wendy Benjaminson, Mike Shepard

(Corrects to remove reference to billionaire in podcast and third paragraph of story published Jan. 18.)

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