US elections: Donald Trump's campaign has already spent $800 million
United States President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election later this year, is facing a cash crunch with his campaign just 60 days ahead of the Presidential elections. Reportedly, Trump's billion-dollar campaign has already spent $800 million and the $200 million advantage over Democratic rival Joe Biden has "evaporated," according to The New York Times. Here are more details.
Most of $.1.1 billion campaign funds lost to 'profligate habits'
Out of the $1.1 billion that Trump's campaign had raised between the start of 2019 and the end of July this year, over $800 million has already been spent, NYT reported. Citing top Republican officials briefed on the budget and federal campaign filings, the publication reported that Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) developed some "profligate habits."
Where did the money go?
According to NYT, over $350 million had ironically been spent on fundraising operations alone under former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who once referred to Trump's re-election war machine as an "unstoppable juggernaut." Reportedly, the campaign had assembled a huge, well-paid staff, housed in an office in the Virginia suburbs. Outsize legal bills were also treated as campaign costs, the NYT report added.
$100 million spent on TV ads before conventions
Reportedly, over $100 million had already been spent on television advertising before the Republican convention, which is when the voters are said to start paying attention to the Presidential race. Further, the campaign reportedly paid $11 million to air TV ads during the Super Bowl.
$30 million spent on merchandise; $6 million on 'donor mementos'
The campaign spent a million dollars airing ads in the Washington DC media market, $800,000 on boosting Parscale's social media posts featuring campaign ads, $6 million on "donor mementos," $30 million on manufacturing Trump merchandise, etc. Further, $40 million was spent on acquiring voters' email addresses, $145 million on direct mail, $21 million in legal costs covering the impeachment trial and other investigations.
Former campaign manager says the Trumps had approved all expenses
When questioned by NYT on his decision-making as a campaign manager, Parscale said all the expenses happened with the approval of the Trumps. He said the expenditure happened "under the very close eye of the family" and "no decision was made without their approval." Jared Kushner, who is married to the President's daughter Ivanka Trump, is broadly overseeing the campaign.
Parscale spent like a drunken sailor: Republican political strategist
Veteran Republican political strategist Ed Rollins told NYT, "If you spend $800 million and you're 10 points behind, I think you've got to answer the question, 'What was the game plan?'" "I think a lot of money was spent when voters weren't paying attention," said Rollins, who went on to accuse Parscale of spending like a "drunken sailor."
New campaign manager adopts cost-cutting measures
Reportedly, since Bill Stepien replaced Parscale as Trump's campaign manager, the campaign has adopted several cost-cutting measures in hiring practices, travel, and the advertising budget. In the last two weeks of August, while Biden's campaign spent $36 million on TV ads, Trump's campaign spent just $5 million. Stepien has also reduced the number of campaign staff who are allowed to travel for events.
Biden's campaign raised $150 million more than Trump's in August
Trump's campaign raised $210 million in August against a record $365 million raised by Biden's campaign. Biden's campaign has been minimalistic, which Trump has repeatedly derided as his "basement" strategy. Biden raised as much as $720,000 from top donors through Zoom fundraisers, which took less than 90 minutes and cost almost nothing. Trump aides told NYT that the President doesn't like such fundraisers.Share this timeline