Gov. Doug Burgum (R-N.D.), a largely unknown presidential candidate, announced on Twitter Monday that he will send $20 Visa or Mastercard gift cards to those who provide his campaign with a $1 donation, coining the cards as “Biden Economic Relief cards,” even though the payments could also serve to propel Burgum to the GOP presidential debate stage.
Burgum posted the link for donations on Twitter, where the governor assured users that “50,000 people will actually get a Visa or Mastercard gift card to their mailing address.”
The presidential candidate claimed the cards were being given to help Americans hurting from “Bidenflation,” adding on the donation page that President Joe Biden was doing nothing to fix the “burden on American families caused by the Democrats.”
The move also comes as Republican candidates seek to meet the required 40,000 unique donation threshold required as one of the qualifications for the first presidential primary debate, set for August 23.
Burgum has the support of 0.2% of Republican primary voters, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
What We Don’t Know
It’s not clear how much money Burgum’s campaign has in cash on hand. The month-old campaign has not yet filed any financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission.
More than $5 million. That’s how much Burgum has spent on his presidential campaign since its launch on June 7, according to NBC–far outpacing spending by candidates like Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).
Burgum, who was born in a small town in North Dakota, has a solid base of personal finances to support his campaign. He was the CEO of Great Plains Software–an accounting software firm acquired by Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. He has since made a string of investments into companies such as Australian cloud software company Atlassian. The company, which Burgum chaired before stepping down to run for North Dakota governor, trades at $173.49 per share as of Monday, with a market cap of nearly $45 billion. Burgum won his initial bid for governor in 2016 and secured reelection in 2020, capturing 66% of the vote. In a Saturday interview with NBC, Burgum did not align himself with Trump, saying he would not do business with the former president. Burgum’s campaign website describes him as a conservative with a particular focus on the economy, energy and national security.
A national Quinnipiac University poll found last month 90% of voters did not know who Burgum was, with most respondents saying they have not heard enough about the governor to offer an opinion on him.