Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trump's campaign in the red, Trump says "What, Me Worry?"

Actually not, but the first part is true. The Trump campaign is exceptional in many ways, but the latest numbers show that it is really exceptional when it comes to campaign finance and organization. The campaign is deficient in both. Following are snippets from the NY Times report.

Donald J. Trump enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history, placing both his candidacy and his party in political peril.

Mr. Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House. He trailed Hillary Clinton, who raised more than $28 million in May, by more than $41 million, according to reports filed late Monday night with the Federal Election Commission.

He has a staff of around 70 people — compared with nearly 700 for Mrs. Clinton — suggesting only the barest effort toward preparing to contest swing states this fall. And he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Monday, after concerns among allies and donors about his ability to run a competitive race.

The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement since he effectively secured the nomination in May and has not booked any advertising for the summer or fall. Mrs. Clinton and her allies spent nearly $26 million on advertising in June alone, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, pummeling Mr. Trump over his temperament, his statements and his mocking of a disabled reporter. The only sustained reply, aside from Mr. Trump’s gibes at rallies and on Twitter, has come from a pair of groups that spent less than $2 million combined.

The thing is, Trump did not have to spend lots in the primaries. The one thing that Trump had going for him was the mainstream media which gave him oodles of free advertising. Politico.com reports the numbers from a Harvard Kennedy School study.

Just as media coverage boosted Trump in the polls, it slowly ate away at Clinton’s advantage. Among Clinton, Trump, Sanders and Cruz, the former secretary of state earned the highest percentage of coverage related to issues — a relatively small 28 percent, while just 12 percent of Trump coverage related to issues. For Cruz, just 9 percent of coverage related to the issues, while 7 percent of coverage was issue-related for Sanders. But in issue-related coverage of Clinton, an overwhelming 84 percent was negative in tone, the study found, compared with 43 percent for Trump, 32 percent for Cruz and just 17 percent for Sanders.

So why did that occur?

"Journalists seemed unmindful that they and not the electorate were Trump’s first audience. Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories,” the report found. “He didn’t have any other option. He had no constituency base and no claim to presidential credentials. If Trump had possessed them, his strategy could have been political suicide, which is what the press predicted as they showcased his tirades. Trump couldn’t compete with the likes of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush on the basis of his political standing or following. The politics of outrage was his edge, and the press became his dependable if unwitting ally.”

The fundraising picture might change in the months ahead, but right now it seems there is a lot of reluctance by GOP donors to pitch in given Trump's erraticism. More from the Times:

The most prominent group [Trump fundraising group], Great America, is advised by Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign, and other more seasoned Republican operatives. But it, too, has had difficulty persuading big donors: On Monday, it reported raising just $1.4 million during the month of May.

Fund-raising efforts for Mr. Trump have been hampered by the candidate’s own erratic public comments. He has repeatedly said he will pay for his own campaign even as his volunteers fan out around the country to solicit six-figure checks, confusing allies and potential donors alike.

“Two days ago, he said, ‘I may fund it myself,’” Mr. Rollins said. “Donors are all being cautious about what’s going to happen here.”

That's what happens in a top-down organization with an unpredictable top.

No comments:

Post a Comment