Since early in his campaign, Trump preached of his fundraising strategy. For the entirety of his primary run, Trump did not take any money from supporters. Trump fully self-funded his primary campaign. Obviously, winning the nomination changed the game. A campaign for presidency requires much more money.
In order to meet the needs of a presidential campaign, Trump started fundraising. However, depending how you look at it, fundraising has not been a completely successful endeavor. Trump has been fundraising significantly less money than Hilary Clinton. He is racking up less money from both supporter donations and Super PACs.
Trump simply can’t compete with Hilary’s monetary backing. So, he hasn’t. Instead, Trump has cut back on the traditional expectations of a presidential campaign. His campaign spending does not remotely compare to Clinton’s. Trump has employed fewer people, spent less on rental spaces, and booked cheaper venues. His conscious spending habits can even be seen in his advertisement plans.
Trump himself has not reserved a single dollar in TV advertisement slots from June 28th through November 8th. His supporters have only reserved $700,000. Clinton and her supporters have spent $117 million on TV ads. TV advertisements have played a significant part of the traditional presidential campaign in the past. Yet, Trump says he doesn’t need them. He argues that TV ads are not a necessity anymore.
Trump has cut corners where other candidates have not. What consequences will he face for his low spending? Will using less money cause him more problems? Can he overcome $117 million in negative TV ads?
Hilary has a clear institutional lead on Trump. However, while the money gap is large between the two, Trump does not seem to be concerned. He has emphasized his ability to run a campaign using fewer funds.
Trump isn’t a politician. He hasn’t run his campaign by the expectations of traditional models. But can his nontraditional approach succeed?