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Want to Be Trump’s Running Mate? Make Sure He Knows About Your Donors.

During his 2016 campaign, Donald J. Trump orchestrated a takeover of the Republican Party in part by blasting wealthy political donors as the root of corruption and delivering a populist message that appealed to working-class voters.

Eight years later, one of his key decision points in choosing a running mate is connections to the superrich.

As the end of the selection process approaches, with an announcement expected in the next two weeks after months of suggestion and misdirection, Republican hopefuls are looking to convince Mr. Trump that they have the financial backing behind them that could help swing the race.

There are other factors that could make for a good match. Mr. Trump is said to be considering candidates with discipline on the campaign trail, who will not steal his precious spotlight and would fare well in a debate with Vice President Kamala Harris.

But the money definitely matters — and some Republican donors with direct access to Mr. Trump have left unmistakable fingerprints on his process. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, for example, became a top contender late in the selection process after persistent lobbying from Steve Wynn, the billionaire former casino mogul who is close to Mr. Trump. Mr. Wynn has also played a role in persuading some other donors, such as Elon Musk, to be more supportive of the campaign.

Many vice-presidential hopefuls, including some outside contenders wise to the financial dynamic, have responded, boasting — and sometimes exaggerating — the amount they could raise for the ticket. The posturing, in some cases, has drawn sneers from some Republican donors, who feel like they are being used as pawns in internecine warfare.

Read more on nytimes.com