Hillary Outspending the Free-Spending Socialist

Hillary Clinton performing her beloved "invisible wall" mime routine for supporters at Broward College, Florida. (AP photo)

Hillary Clinton performing her beloved “invisible wall” mime routine for supporters at Broward College, Florida.
(AP photo)

I mentioned Hillary Clinton’s “comically expensive” campaign yesterday, linking to that report that she’d spent $9,000 for “experts” to put together her campaign’s event playlist.

But let’s put her spending and fundraising in perspective, by comparing them to rival Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders:

Clinton vastly outraised Sanders during the second quarter as their respective campaigns began, drawing in $47 million compared to his $15 million.

But Sanders narrowed the gap considerably in the second quarter, raking in $26 million compared with Clinton’s $28 million.

Sanders said based on these fundraising results, he is “very confident” his campaign can pull off “one of the major political upsets in American history.”

The Vermont senator said he is proud that his campaign’s average contribution is below $30.

“Well I am very proud of that in the era of Citizens United and in the era of super-PACS, where millionaires and billionaires are making huge contributions to campaigns, we don’t have a super PAC,” Sanders said.

“And the overwhelming, overwhelming, overwhelming majority of our contributions are coming from middle-class and working class-people. I think our average contribution may be less than 30 bucks.”

The Clinton campaign also reported that it had a burn rate of 89 percent in its second quarter, whereas the Sanders campaign said it spent approximately 50 percent of its cash.

If I’m doing my math correctly, Clinton entered the third quarter with about $5.2 million in the bank from $47 million raised, and Sanders entered with about $7.5 million in the bank on $15 million raised.

Note that although Clinton is currently up by five points in Iowa, her lead is shrinking — while Sanders catches up in the polls and in the fundraising.

A quick look back at Iowa in 2008 might be instructive, too. Clinton left the Iowa Caucuses “dead broke” (for real this time) and even then was only able to buy herself a third place finish behind John Edwards. What saved her bacon was a convincing win in New Hampshire just five days later.

But as of right now, Clinton trails Sanders badly in New Hampshire.

The next stop 11 days after New Hampshire is a closed caucus in Nevada — and Clinton tends to fare poorly in caucus states, which are more easily dominated by Progressive True Believers.

Clinton’s firewall then is the South Carolina primary — but will she have enough money left to buy the airtime she’ll need?

Or will Bill have to cut her another seven-figure check to keep her in the running?

Stay tuned.