Donald Trump's Campaign Finance Report Is An Unmitigated Disaster. | Gradient
Gradient

Donald Trump’s campaign finance report is an unmitigated disaster.

Trump-Surprised

For a while now, GOP officials have been concerned about a perceived fundraising gap between their presumed nominee and Hillary Clinton. Those concerns were proved to be warranted a billion times over and then some late Monday night, when newly filed FEC documents revealed that Donald Trump is at a crippling disadvantage. His campaign ended the month of May with $1.3 million on hand.

For comparison, the Clinton campaign is sitting at about $42.4 million. In June of 2012, Mitt Romney’s campaign raised about $76.8 million. Ted Cruz, who dropped out of the race on May 3, still has about $6.8 million in the bank.

Also, according to the report, Trump’s campaign is currently staffed with about 70 people. Mrs. Clinton has about 700. Her well-funded mobilization has led to about $26 million in a television advertising blitz, which is historically crucial for swing states. So far, Trump has not invested in any TV advertising, relying on his tweets and unscripted rally banter to do the job. According to the New York Times, this puts Trump in the “worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history.”

What happened? Well, a lot of things. Trump began his campaign bragging that he’d self-fund his entire campaign, a claim he reversed once he pivoted to the general election, saying he’d be willing to work with the Republican National Committee’s famously robust fundraising machine. The RNC is still a formidable rainmaker, but if Trump’s itemized budget is any indication, that money is going to be going towards lots and lots of hats.

It gets weirder.

According to the report, some $35,000 of Trump’s May budget went to an ad firm called “Draper Sterling.”

No one is quite sure what Draper Sterling is, but it’s almost certainly not THE Draper Sterling. This Draper Sterling was started in May of 2012, and one journalist tracked the listing to a McMansion in New Hampshire, which is owned by the co-founder of a medical device and research company. What service it provides, what Trump’s relationship to it is, and why it sure seems like it’s named after two Mad Men characters is all a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

Whatever Draper Sterling is, it’s not as whack as some of Trump’s other expenses. He paid out a huge amount of his budget to companies with his own name in the title.

And that doesn’t include the $400,000 he paid to rent out his own Mar-a-Lago club, or the $350,000 he paid to Tag Air which he owns. All told, about 20% of Trump’s May expenses went to firms he owns and travel reimbursements for his children.

None of this bolsters the fortunes of the RNC, which is already lagging in its fundraising efforts from previous years. In 2012, the RNC was able to net about $60 million in May. This year, they pulled in only $20 million. This puts them at a severe disadvantage from their previous election, but they’re at least better off than the Democratic National Committee, which only has about $9 million in on-hand cash.

Of course, Trump has defied conventional wisdom before, clearing out the GOP field of would-be nominees on sheer bluster and aggression, despite some astonishing fundraising efforts by his competitors — Jeb Bush in particular. But the general election is a different animal altogether, and swing voters aren’t likely to find Trump’s campaign rhetoric nearly as persuasive as the base that has presumably handed him the nomination.

If you enjoy ‘Reactions’, subscribe to our podcast In Case You Missed It. 

 

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”

sounds-good-1-e1471274700720

Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”

animalators-1024x575

Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040

icymi-generic

United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”

screen-shot-2016-09-02-at-8-28-21-am-1

Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”

sounds-good-1-e1471274700720

Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039

icymi-generic

Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo

animalators-1024x575

Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038

icymi-11-4-16-jpg

This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange

birdplanepod-logo

We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

SIGN UP TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH GRADIENT