IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Biden is vastly outspending Trump in the final week of the 2020 race

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Joe Biden
Joe Biden waves to supporters during a drive-in campaign rally in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 27, 2020.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — No, the Trump campaign isn’t broke. But it sure is facing a significant cash crunch in the final days of the 2020 race.

Trump's campaign has $10.1 million booked on television and radio ads between Wednesday and Election Day, compared to Biden's $50 million, according to Advertising Analytics, per NBC’s Ben Kamisar.

The president can still count on a big assist from the Republican National Committee, which is spending another $12.6 million in key swing states like Florida, as well as from outside groups set to spend tens of millions more.

But when all aligned outside groups are combined with the campaign's future spending, Democrats are set to outspend Republicans $109.8 million to $40.7 million on the presidential ad airwaves in the closing days.

That’s nearly a 3-to-1 advantage, and it tells you everything you need to know how the political winds are blowing in these final days.

Biden & Co. have the luxury of advertising in both core battleground states and expansion states like Georgia and Texas.

And take a look at the expensive state of Florida: Trump's campaign has just $300,000 booked there between now and Election Day, with the RNC set to spend $2.1 million on TV and radio, Kamisar adds.

That’s compared with the Biden campaign’s $7.7 million in ad bookings in the state. And Democrats as a whole are set to outspend Republicans in the Sunshine State by a factor of four.

Worth noting: Trump has yet to write a big check to help narrow that advertising gap.

NBC/WSJ re-contact survey show little movement after last week’s debate

Is it possible the trajectory of the 2020 presidential race changes between now and Election Day? Absolutely.

But is it happening right now, especially after last week’s final debate? Not that we’re seeing.

In an effort to gauge any late movement in the contest like what took place in 2016, our NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters re-contacted — on Oct. 24-25 —184 persuadable voters who had participated in past NBC/WSJ surveys from June to September.

They included voters who said they weren’t voting for either President Trump or Joe Biden, non-straight-ticket voters and those who said there was a least a slight chance of voting for either Trump or Biden if they weren’t already supporting them.

Our pollsters call them “disconnected voters” — they’re predominately men, independent and moderate — and they’re the kind of voters who COULD move at the end of the race.

The findings from this NBC/WSJ re-contact survey: Trump’s job rating slightly improved among these voters, but so did Biden’s fav/unfav rating.

And maybe most importantly, these voters’ 2020 horserace preference barely budged after the debate, with Biden continuing to hold a double-digit lead among these voters.

“Do we see evidence that there would be a late break to Trump?” said NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R). “Right now, the answer from this project would be no."

Washington Post/ABC polls don’t show a tightening race, either

And we’re not the only ones who show that the overall race hasn’t changed much.

Two new Washington Post/ABC polls show Biden ahead by 7 points among likely voters in Michigan, and by a whopping 17 points in Wisconsin.

Now we don’t think that Biden is ahead by THAT much, but this caught our eyes: 59 percent of registered voters in Wisconsin say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

8,859,364: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 81,071 more than yesterday morning.)

227,952: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 1,032 more than yesterday morning.)

138.46 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

44,212: The number of people currently hospitalized for Covid-19 in the U.S., per the Covid Tracking Project.

66,373,528: The number of Americans who have voted early, either by mail or in person, according to estimates by NBC News and TargetSmart

Potentially more than a million: The number of mail-in ballots that may be rejected, according to experts.

2020 Vision: Offense vs. defense

Joe Biden and President Trump are spending the last week of the general election in vastly different ways: Biden is trying to expand his map to victory, while Trump is trying to shore up support in states that won him the presidency in 2016.

Yesterday, Biden made a last push in Georgia — a state that hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992. Here was Biden in Atlanta:

“You know, there aren't a lot of pundits who would have guessed four years ago that a Democratic candidate for president in 2020 would be campaigning in Georgia on the final week of the election or that we'd have such competitive Senate races in Georgia. But we do because something's happening here in Georgia and across America.”

Biden added, “We win Georgia, we win everything.”

Meanwhile, Trump spent his Tuesday in Wisconsin – a state the voted for him in 2016 by about 22,000 votes.

“Next week, Wisconsin's going to answer the call of history. Once again, we had a great victory here. We had a great – remember that four years ago. They said Donald Trump has won the state of Wisconsin. It’s been a long time since a Republican did that,” Trump said.

On the campaign trail today

It’s a big day in Arizona: President Trump holds rallies in Bullhead City, Ariz., and Goodyear, Ariz. Kamala Harris hits Tucson and Phoenix. Joe Biden delivers remarks on the coronavirus from Delaware. An VP Mike Pence stumps in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Lid: Mind the map

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we reviewed our latest battleground map.

Shameless plug

Lester Holt will wrap his “Across America” series tonight from Wilkes-Barre, PA. He will anchor NBC Nightly News from there at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT, and will speak with residents who voted for President Obama in 2012 and then for President Trump in 2016, as well as Republicans planning to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Yes, the polls may be wrong. But it could end up helping Biden, not Trump.

Young voters are a big part of the early voting surge.

Protests continue in Philadelphia after a fatal police shooting of a Black man.

What’s happening in the North Carolina Senate race? A sexting scandal and a Covid diagnosis haven’t changed the landscape that much.

The New York Times reports on Trump’s business dealings in Chicago.

Trump’s campaign website was hacked.

Democrats are getting worried about Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion in a Wisconsin voting case.

Mitch McConnell gives it even odds that Republicans will hold the Senate.