The Colorado Springs Gazette

Doug Burgum-allied PAC reaches $15M in spending amid failing poll numbers

BY GABE KAMINSKY Washington Examiner

A super PAC boosting Gov. Doug Burgum’s, R-N.D., 2024 presidential campaign has been shelling out major sums recently, all while the longshot candidate’s poll numbers remain steadily tiny, campaign finance disclosures show.

Burgum, who has mostly self-funded his White House bid, clocked in at 0% in national GOP primary polls taken in September and late August, all while former President Donald Trump polls at over 56%, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-fla., sits at around 13%, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy hits over 7%, according to a Realclearpolitics average. Still, the North Dakota Republican’s minimal support among Republican voters and low name recognition hasn’t stopped the Best of America PAC from spending more than $15 million since July to try and help Burgum compete on the national stage.

“Voters are going to decide the nominee, starting with those in Iowa and New Hampshire, not anonymous strategists,” Lance Trover, a Burgum spokesman, told the Washington Examiner. “Winning the nomination is a state-by-state process that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire. Gov. Burgum is ahead or tied with Pence and Christie in Iowa and tied with Haley and ahead of Pence in New Hampshire.

“This race is still just in the opening quarter,” added the spokesman for Burgum, who injured his leg playing basketball before the first GOP debate in June in Milwaukee.

The increased spending from Best of America PAC comes after it reported raising about $11 million between January and June. Candidates polling close to Burgum include Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-ark., who like Burgum was at the first GOP debate in Milwaukee in June, and Larry Elder, the conservative radio talk show host and ex-republican California gubernatorial candidate.

Best of America PAC has paid Rising Tide Direct LLC in Alexandria, Virginia, for direct marketing, and another LLC called Ad Placement Results for TV and radio advertising, as well as text marketing, according to disclosures. The PAC has notably received donations from ex-abbott Laboratories CEO Miles D. White, an obscure LLC in Delaware called Farrington Rocket, billionaire entrepreneur Gary Tharaldson, and venture capitalist Bob Kagle.

“You would expect that a candidate like him wouldn’t enter the race unless he had done some preliminary work and identified donors who would support him,” Republican political strategist Matt Kenney told the Washington Examiner. “He’s trying to make an honest effort at inspiring and gaining momentum in his campaign to keep it going. He is going to try with those resources to create some momentum.”

As far as potentially dropping out of the race soon, Kenney thinks Burgum will start “to feel some significant pressure” soon, noting he expects him to do so. The presidential campaign for Ramaswamy was more open-ended in their response to the question.

“We think Burgum should do whatever is best for him and his family,” Tricia McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for Ramaswamy, told the Washington Examiner.

It’s unclear if Burgum will qualify for the second GOP debate on Sept. 27 in California. It’s expected to feature DeSantis, Pence, ex-south Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Ramaswamy, and ex-gov. Chris Christie. Trump declined to show up at the first debate in August and the former president has not committed to taking the stage for the upcoming event at the Reagan Library.





The Gazette, Colorado Springs