It’s ironic, but the billionaire Republican presumptive candidate Donald Trump may end up losing the U.S. presidency to Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton because she out-funds him — dare I say “trumps” him — with Big Money campaign donations.
In fact, the latest report by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showed that while Trump’s current war chest is at a dismal $1.3 million, Clinton is riding high on the political hog with a $42.5 million in financial campaign reserves.
This means that Clinton can spend far more on advertising and campaigning than Trump, who is now feeling the pinch of a limited spending budget.
The lack of money is also hitting home for Trump in other ways.
While Clinton has a staff of 683, Trump’s paid supporters now number only 70, including his family members.
Trump’s ever-dwindling campaign reserves could seriously dampen his prospects for a win in November.
He has already begun to trail Clinton in the opinion polls, and his recent outbursts about the June 12 Orlando mass murders haven’t helped him.
The fact that he finally fired his embattled campaign manager Corey Lewandowski earlier this week may be an indication that the billionaire, who promised he could fund his own campaign, is beginning to shake in his Ferragamo boots.
While Trump may be backed — both morally and financially — by blue-collar, middle-America voters, he is going to need to start courting upper-crust Republicans with deep pockets if he hopes to gain an even financial footing with Clinton.
So far, he had gone out of his way to offend the Republican establishment, and they have responded by keeping their pocketbooks tightly shut.
In May, after having garnered the presumptive candidacy, Trump managed to reel in just $3 million dollars in donations, while Clinton reaped $26 million in donations that same month.
Trump loaned his campaign an additional $2.2 million, bringing his total outlay over the past year to about $46 million — almost all of which has been categorized as loans.
Trying to spin his limited cash reserves as a positive, Trump has claimed that reduced campaign spending should be seen as a strength, not a weakness, pointing out that Jeb Bush’s millions did not get him the candidacy.
It is sad to think that money can buy an election, but past experience has shown that, in general, a candidate’s success depends significantly on the amount of cash she or he can raise and lay out for campaigning.
And at this point, it looks like Clinton is the clear winner when it comes to campaign fundraising.
It is also rather incongruent to think of the Democratic Party as the party of Big Money, but then again, there is little about the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign that is not unprecedented.
Still, envisioning Trump as losing because he is campaign-poor is an image that is hard to get your head around.