Top Democratic donor Reid Hoffman is gearing up to push former President Donald Trump out of the GOP presidential primary by analyzing state trends to see where Democrats need to focus their efforts heading into the 2024 presidential election.
Influencing the GOP race is a priority for Hoffman and Dmitri Mehlhorn, Hoffman’s top adviser. Hoffman, who founded LinkedIn, is having closed-door discussions about studying early voting states, including their party registration requirements, demographic groups, state GOP nominating rules, and media presence, according to Puck’s Theodore Schleifer.
Sources told Schleifer that Hoffman is not likely to boost Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in order to edge Trump out of the way, but Hoffman also does not view DeSantis as an “existential threat to democracy” compared to the former president.
“The short answer is I will spend as much as I possibly can and it takes and is effective [to beat Trump],” Hoffman said in an interview with podcast host Kara Swisher, adding that he would “absolutely” support President Joe Biden against Trump.
Hoffman has been a longtime donor to center-aligned Democratic candidates, including several who ran during the 2020 and 2022 elections. In 2020, he actively campaigned for Biden, donating over $2 million to super PACs backing Biden’s candidacy.
By June 2022, he had already contributed over $4 million to his preferred candidates in the midterm elections and gave a six-figure donation to Mainstream Democrats PAC. Hoffman and his advisers’ philosophy centers on the idea that electing centrist Democrats will ultimately defeat Republicans in the general elections.
“Our political philanthropy is focused on weakening the political power of the anti-American Trump-MAGA movement,” Mehlhorn said in June 2022. “Far-left groups, such as the Justice Democrats, help the MAGA movement by attacking centrist Democrats who can win general elections.”
However, both men have come under fire from fellow Democrats for their efforts to push out more left-leaning Democrats who are supported by the Justice Democrats PAC. The organization, in turn, boosts members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA).
Hoffman’s meddling in the 2024 presidential election could either make Biden’s reelection smooth sailing or slightly more contentious. A Quinnipiac University poll released March 15 shows Biden defeating both Trump and DeSantis, but by different margins. With Trump as the GOP candidate, Biden leads 49-45%. With Trump out and DeSantis in, Biden has a smaller lead margin of 47-46%.
DeSantis has not announced a presidential run but is expected to announce a White House bid in late May or early June after Florida’s legislative session has concluded, coming out with a handful of legislative wins likely to boost his candidacy. Despite not being an announced candidate, some, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), have endorsed the Florida governor.