In the final weeks of the election, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is facing a potentially crippling financial scenario.
The Republican presidential candidate has just $16 million on hand and is $2 million in debt, according to filings to the Federal Election Commission through October 19. The outlook, which will be the last FEC filings before Election Day, looks a bit better for Trump when the totality of his two other fundraising committees are included, giving him $67 million for the final days.
His challenger, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is in a much better position, however. Her campaign and two fundraising committees have more than twice what Trump has with $153.5 million in the bank. Clinton has just $111,000 in debt.
Even though Trump has consistently trailed in most battleground and national polls, he continues to campaign and deliver stump speeches vigorously, insisting that his campaign is doing well and that he has a chance of beating Clinton on November 8. But his latest campaign finance reports are more indication that a win in less than two weeks is a steep climb.
Trump has also faulted on his own giving to his presidential venture. After pledging as recently as this week to donate $100 million to his effort, he gave his campaign just $30,000 this month. Trump has given about $56 million, a significant amount, to his campaign — most of it during the primary when he was mostly self-funding, but he has only a few days left to give about $44 million more if he follows through.
UPDATE: Trump wired his campaign $10 million Friday morning to pay for television and digital advertisements and ground game.
Trump's large-dollar Victory program, which works in conjunction with the Republican National Committee to pay for ground game and get-out-the-vote efforts critical in the final days, raised just $11 million in the first 19 days of October. And Trump has now wound down that fundraising entity.
Trump is continuing to usher most of his fundraising through small donations with a third entity called Trump Make America Great Again Fund. It is used mostly for online fundraising and for merchandise sales of his Make American Great Again hats. Trump brought in $36.5 million through this committee, with 72 percent from donations or purchases of $250 or less representing the bulk of his financial support.
Meanwhile, Clinton's joint fundraising effort with the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Victory Fund, far outpaced Trump's. She raised $70 million with $82 million in its coffers. And a third committee, Hillary Action Fund, which helps to fund the DNC, has $9 million in the bank. The three committees give Clinton $153 million for the final days.
Throughout this race, Trump has always had a fundraising disadvantage, in part, because he didn't actively fundraise during the primary. Political watchers were uncertain if that would be a problem for Trump. They acknowledged that he won the primary spending far less than his opponents.
But Clinton's fundraising machine took no chances. Early in the race she had spent up to $60 million on television advertisements and Trump had spent zero. As early as this week Trump was still at a major deficit. He was outspent three to one in television advertising.
FEC filings for October 1 - 19:
Debts: $2 mil