When it comes to campaigns, two things matter above all other factors if a candidate hopes to win: Money and infrastructure. At the end of the day, it matters less about the candidate and the message than it does about the money available and the people you have on staff to help, especially at crunch time, the last 45-60 days of a campaign.
Based on numbers released Friday by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) from both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, Trump is in very big trouble and it doesn’t appear he has the time needed to catch up to Clinton’s decided advantage in many areas. Consider:
- Trump’s campaign has spent less than a third as much Clinton’s, $57 million to $182 million.
- Trump’s campaign staff is 70, compared to 732 for Clinton.
- Even in real estate, which is supposed to be Trump’s specialty, Trump has fewer campaign offices, paying $101,000 in rent vs. $328,000 for Clinton.
Even more telling is this fact: Trump’s own money accounts for 75 percent of the $59 million brought in by his campaign. The Trump campaign is attempting to reach out to large donors, but Clinton and the Democratic Party have a decided advantage in that area, too. Trump will be trying to play catch up from now until November.
And PAC money will also play a part–a very large part–in November. Trump has no super PAC behind him, while Clinton can count on the well-funded and aggressive Priorities USA Action PAC, which has already begun airing attack ads against Trump.
When it comes to polling–a key to any campaign–Trump only recently hired a pollster. Clinton will spend $896,000 on polling in April alone. This kind of data is crucial as a campaign prepares to roll out their national messaging for the general election.
Having worked on dozens of campaigns over the past two decades, I can tell you this salient fact: If you lose the ground game, the money game, and the analytics game, you are doomed to failure. Looking at the FEC data from April, it appears quite obvious that the Trump campaign has a long way to go.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.