Donald Trump’s campaign is in worse financial shape than any major candidate in modern history. As of this month, the Trump campaign has less cash on hand than most congressional campaigns and the Clinton camp has already spent far more money on early advertising than the Trump campaign has raised.
According to campaign finance documents, the Trump campaign has just $1.2 million on hand, and that is only because Trump himself loaned the campaign $2 million. To put that into perspective, Barack Obama spent nearly $1 billion to win the White House in 2008 and 2012. At this point in time, Mitt Romney had over $70 million on hand for the 2012 race.
Trump has had trouble courting big name backers and he has likewise had trouble eliciting small donations from individual supporters. This could be because many of his supporters incorrectly believe that Trump is self funding his campaign. However, Trump has stated that he will not self fund his general election campaign.
To further put things into perspective, former GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Ben Carson have both raised far more funds than Trump and have more cash on hand, despite stopping campaigning weeks ago.
To add to the Trump campaign’s financial scrutiny, over 1/5 of all funds spent by the Trump campaign have been paid to Trump family owned businesses according to the same campaign finance filings by his campaign.
Trump directed nearly a fifth of the $6.7M he spent in May to companies he owns or to reimbursing his kids: https://t.co/xXpuvw0q4w
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) June 21, 2016
Trump raised only $3.1 million in the month of May. This is compared to Clinton who raised $28 million during the same time, and while she was still involved in a close, contemptuous primary battle against Bernie Sanders.
Clinton has already spent over $20 million on attack ads against Trump to kick off the summer, and they seem to be working. Clinton has opened up a 5+ point lead on Trump in recent weeks. Conversely, the Trump campaign has been unable to purchase a single advertising buy to date, with most of the campaign’s spending being dedicated to trying to earn more money.
On Monday, the same day the financial reports were filed, Trump fired Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski and communications staffer Michael Caputo was forced to resign, signaling a major shakeup in the Trump camp after the dire financial situation was revealed.
Further signaling the disparity in finances and organization between Clinton and Trump we have their staffs. Clinton currently has over 700 paid staffers and thousands of registered volunteers. Trump’s campaign currently employs only 70 people and no data is available on their prospective volunteer force. Once again, Trump’s staff is smaller than most campaign staffs for most members of Congress.
At this point, barring a major change, it appears that Trump will not be able to run a traditional campaign and ground game. Given the ground he will need to make up in the electoral college, the legitimacy of Trump’s campaign is starting to be called into question.