The Dam Is Breaking: Trump Earns Millions in Silicon Valley Fundraiser Deep in Democrat Territory

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 07, 2024

Former President and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was invited to attend a fundraiser in the ‘lion’s den’ in liberal San Francisco hosted by tech venture capitalists.

This meeting comes in the context of Democrats in the state introducing a flurry of bills trying to regulate and restrict the tech industry, with the meeting suggesting there might be a growing appetite for the often left-leaning California tech sector in Republican politics.

Tech Fundraising

Two sources told Reuters that Trump managed to raise $12 million at the fundraiser hosted by tech venture capitalists David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya.

An aerial photograph capturing a vast cityscape spread across a valley, with dense residential and commercial areas bisected by a major freeway leading towards a distant mountain range

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The fundraising event drew investors and tech leaders from across Silicon Valley who have been discouraged by policies pushed by Democrats and Joe Biden.


Fundraiser Tickets

According to Reuters, the top price to get tickets for the fundraiser was $500,000 per couple, of which these top tickets were completely sold out.

The San Francisco skyline seen in the distance behind water and palm trees during sunset.

Source: Cedric Letsch/Unsplash

San Francisco is infamous for being particularly liberal, with the area being won by Joe Biden with 85% of the vote in 2020. However, in the intervening time, increasing numbers of tech industry investors and leaders have been changing their tune.

Concern Around AI

Democrats in the state legislature have been concerned about AI, with many bills being proposed regarding AI’s accountability, safety, and regulations which has Silicon Valley worried.

an artists rendition of a AI shown through an connected brain.

Source: Steve Johnson

However, the attitude was different at the fundraiser. “President Trump is relaxed, happy, and cracking jokes about AI,” said conservative lawyer Harmeet K. Dhillon on X.

Star-Studded Event

Reportedly, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and other leaders in the crypto industry attended the fundraiser.

The Winklevoss twins ist on stage at a TechCrunch event in 2015.

Source: TechCrunch/wikimedia

The two high-profile twins are known colloquially as the “Winklevoss twins,” and became more well-known after the 2010 film “The Social Network” that documented their connection to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Biden’s Actions

Tech executives and investors have bristled against the recent actions of Joe Biden last week when he vetoed a measure that would benefit crypto currency by depowering the SEC.

President Joe Biden, dressed in a blue suit, is seated at his desk in the Oval Office, signing a document with a pen

Source: POTUS/X

“That might have been just the final domino,” said tech executive Trevor Trainer of the Biden veto.


Crypto in Politics

As cryptocurrency companies and firms have started to make their way up in the current financial landscape, some are also eager to try to dip their digital fingers into the world of politics. This desire to have sway over the political world has caused regulators to increase scrutiny over cryptocurrency operations.

A stack of coins representing crypto currency.

Source: Traxer/Unsplash

Recently, President Monica Long of the crypto firm Ripple said that the SEC seems to be on a “warpath” with the cryptocurrency sector and is hopeful for a “change in tone.”


Dam Breaking

Some Democrats are changing their voting preference in response to actions by the Democratic party around Silicon Valley, which many see as transforming the landscape.

The edge of a large cement dam holding in a pool of water with a large mountain in the background

Source: Anthony Da Cruz/Unsplash

“In 2016, the number of people from Silicon Valley I knew who supported Trump was a sample of one,” said Jacob Helbeg, a data analytics provider who himself stopped being a Democrat in 2021. “Today I count them in the dozens, if not more than that. Over the course of the past six months, we’ve started to see the dam break.”


Trump’s Earnings Skyrocket

Despite lagging behind Joe Biden in fundraising for much of the election season so far, Trump’s campaign has started to pick up steam in a big way.

Donald Trump speaking in front of a podium.

Source: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of his felony conviction last week, Trump earned $53 million in the first 24 hours. Trump has also managed to outearn Biden for the past two months in a row in the election campaign.


A Surprise to Some

Trump’s ability to fundraise, even after his recent court case, has been surprising to some. However, Trump loyalists seemed to have been banking on this outcome, feeling like his enemy’s attempts to pressure him would only empower his support.

A red MAGA hat on a wooden surface and book.

Source: Natilyn Photography/Unsplash

“What just happened today is a line we can’t uncross,” conservative talk show host Megyn Kelly said after Trump was found guilty. “And these Democrats will rue the day they decided to use ‘lawfare’ to stop a presidential candidate. I’m not talking about violence. I’m talking about tit-for-tat.”


Biden’s Head Start

Despite Trump’s recent Silicon Valley fundraiser and recent months of higher donations, Biden has still outraised Trump through the leadup to the election, and having that money earlier is a huge advantage.

Trump, Biden, and Obama all meet at an inauguration in 2017.

Source: Cristian L. Ricardo/Wikimedia

Biden raised nearly $195 million for his campaign between 2021 and April 2024, while Trump had only managed $124 million by April.


Trump’s Future With Tech

This latest fundraiser is a flashpoint example that shows even in one of the most liberal areas in the country, there can exist an appetite for a politician like Trump.

Donald Trump does a dance on stage at a campaign rally in New York.

Source: Liam Enea/Wikimedia

Trump’s ability to connect this way with people across the country makes him a formidable threat to Biden in the upcoming Presidential election.