Numerous Las Vegas billionaires including Sheldon Adelson, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, Phil Ruffin, and Steve Wynn gave tens of millions of dollars to then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
More than two years before voters will again decide who is best fit for the Oval Office, many of those same individuals are opening up their checkbooks to get his 2020 reelection off the ground and running.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) 2018 finance records, Station Casinos owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have individually donated $1 million each to America First Action (AFA), a super political action committee devoted to President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection. Steve Wynn gave $500,000 to AFA, a donation the committee says it will not return regardless of whether the sexual allegations made against the Wynn Resorts founder are proven true.
The Fertittas and their two wives additionally made eight recent donations to the Republican National Committee totaling $812,400.
Longtime Trump friend and business partner Phil Ruffin, who owns Treasure Island and controls a 50 percent stake in Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, gave $250,000 to the RNC in June 2017, and about $100,000 to two Super PACs supporting the Trump reelection (Trump Victory, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc).
Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands founder who is worth an estimated $40 billion, is yet to get in on the 2020 game. A week ahead of the 2016 November 8 election, the devout GOP backer gave $25 million to Future 45, a super PAC backing Trump.
Placing wagers on politics is largely illegal in the US, but in UK and much of Europe, it’s a cherished pastime.
At Ladbrokes, one of the largest betting shops, Trump is the 2020 favorite at 7/4. 2016 candidate and US Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) are next at 12/1, followed by VP Mike Pence and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) at 16/1.
Oprah Winfrey heads up the longshots at 25/1. It’s worth noting that when Trump formally declared his candidacy in 2015, oddsmakers had him at 100/1 to win the GOP race alone.
Other names Ladbrokes is taking 2020 bets on include former First Lady Michelle Obama (50/1), Hillary Clinton (66/1) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (66/1), and Stormy Daniels (500/1), the former porn actress who claims to have had an affair in 2006 with Trump.
Per the Federal Election Commission, Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is off to a blazing start, with more than $42.2 million already raised. US Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland), who has already declared his candidacy for the race, is next closest at just under $3.7 million.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton raised $563.7 million to Trump’s $333.1 million. Despite the extra fundraising time for the president, the 2020 race is expected to once again be closely contested.
PredictIt.org, an online betting exchange that allows users to take “stock” of political outcomes, is currently trading the Democratic ticket at 59 cents, and the Republican candidate at 42 cents.
One might think defeating an incumbent is difficult, but when it comes to the US presidency, that isn’t necessarily the case. Of the 44 men who have held the title of president of the United States, just 21 have served a second term.