Election 2020

Small Donors Give Trump a Huge Financial Push

Small Donors Give Trump a Huge Financial Push
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Via The New York Times:

Donald J. Trump all but erased his enormous fund-raising disadvantage against Hillary Clinton in the span of just two months, according to figures released by his campaign on Wednesday, converting the passion of his core followers into a flood of small donations on a scale rarely seen in national politics.

Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $64 million through a joint digital and mail effort in July, according to his campaign, the bulk of it from small donations. All told, Mr. Trump and his party brought in $82 million last month, only slightly behind Mrs. Clinton’s $90 million, and ended with $74 million on hand, suggesting he might now have the resources to compete with Mrs. Clinton in the closing stretch of the campaign.

“She’s been doing this for 20 years,” said Steven Mnuchin, a New York investor who is Mr. Trump’s finance chairman. “We’ve been doing it for two months.” More than two-thirds of the $64 million had come online, Mr. Mnuchin said.

The new figures indicate a major shift in Mr. Trump’s campaign, which until recent months was largely funded by hat and T-shirt sales and by Mr. Trump’s wallet. And they suggest that Mr. Trump has the potential to be the first Republican nominee whose campaign could be financed chiefly by grass-roots supporters pitching in $10 or $25 apiece, echoing the success of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the Democratic primary.

Win or lose, the fact that the Republican Party has finally noticed the power of small donors could be the greatest thing that it takes away from this year. Actually, merely noticing them isn’t enough. The party needs to not write them off as an anomaly in a strange election year and continue to court them.

This is a big win for the Trump team and the party in an otherwise very rough week. The fact that even the uneasy relationship between the party proper and Trump was able to be this functional at fundraising as soon as they started working together should be an indicator that all is still very weird in this election.

There is a lot of media hoopla about Trump and the party falling apart from each other this week, almost all of it based on unnamed sources. They may not be close, but they are in this together.

This wouldn’t be the first relationship that stayed together just for the money and the family business, and a lot of them have worked out just fine.

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