What, Exactly, Is Trump Doing With The Money He’s Raised?

It’s a valid question. Trump is said to be running a “different type of campaign.” It sure seems so

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And barely any campaign offices. Heck, Clinton has pulled ads in Colorado, since it is almost a slam dunk at this point in the state

(Huffington Post) If you’re watching the Olympic games, you may have noticed “Hillary for President” ads. She’s bought $13.6 million worth, while Donald Trump has bought none. In fact, since garnering the Republican nomination, he’s spent $0 on TV. Nonetheless, the Trump campaign spent $63m in July. What happened to it?

Open Secrets uses FEC data to report that, at the end of June, the Trump campaign had $20m on hand. According to the latest Trump reports, they raised an additional $80 million in July and, early in August, had $37m on hand. If you do the math, that means Trump spent $63m in July. He didn’t spend it on TV advertising. How did Trump spend the money?

Was it on offices? I bet it was on offices, right?

According to his website Trump has 5 offices in Pennsylvania; none in Philadelphia. (Clinton has more than twenty offices and at least 200 full-time staff members.)

According to an Ohio news source, Trump just opened an office in Columbus and has four paid staff members. (The same news source said Clinton has a dozen Ohio field offices and about 250 paid staffers.)

According to Politico, Trump has one office in Florida and one paid staff member. Politico quotes a Bush operative, “The Trump campaign is about to rapidly ramp up and have 25 offices open throughout the state by early September.” (Politico says, “The Clinton campaign has hundreds of volunteers canvasing neighborhoods across the state, and 12 campaign offices.”)

In my state of North Carolina, he supposedly has 4 offices. The only contact number is in the Charlotte area, yet, no offices are listed in Charlotte. I had to look up where Rutherfordton, NC is, and it is way the heck out in the middle of nowhere in the western part of the state, between Charlotte and Asheville. Looking at a map, this makes zero sense.

It doesn’t get much better in other States. We’re a little under 3 months from election day. Things move pretty quick.

So what happened to Trump’s $63m? There are three possible explanations. One is that Trump plans an “October surprise.” That is, Trump has put the money aside and, come October, is planning to flood the airwaves with pro-Trump ads. But that doesn’t seem to be happening; there’s no evidence that Trump has reserved ad space in October.

Trump doesn’t seem very interested in get out the vote operations. He also seems just as interested in attacking Republicans as in attacking the media and Democrats, while talking about himself entirely too much instead of policy.

The second explanation offered is that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing, and is instead relying upon the RNC, so, he gave them the money. That’s pretty darned dangerous, because there’s no telling when the RNC may say “the hell with it” and put their money and time into down ballot races.

The third is that Trump repaid himself for all of the money ($50 million) that he has lent his campaign.

Regardless, there doesn’t seem to be much spent on getting people to vote. How many offices are there actually? Who knows, as most of the web pages are discussing the primary dates, not the general election date. All those offices could be closed, or he could have opened more. Driving around Raleigh I rarely see any Trump-Pence or plain Trump bumper stickers. Granted, more of a Democrat leaning area, but I saw plenty of Romney, McCain, and Bush pumper stickers. And lawn signs. I see plenty of these for Hillary. I see them for the Senate candidates and those for NC governor.

It’s getting to the point where my vote really doesn’t matter, because state polls are skewing Hillary in places that Republicans traditionally win.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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