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Trouble for Trump? Hillary Clintons campaign has more cash than ever

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Filings to Federal Election Commission show Democrats campaign holding far more money than Republicans, raising questions about his fundraising efforts

Donald Trumps campaign war chest is dwarfed by that of rival Hillary Clinton, representing one of the biggest financial mismatches in presidential election history, figures show.

While the Republican presumptive nominee entered June with just $1.3m in the bank, Clinton had $42.5m, according to filings released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) making her campaign cash reserve 32 times larger than that of Trump.

The figures are likely to feed a growing feeling of panic among Republicans about Trumps chances in November. The presumptive Republican nominee is trailing Clinton in opinion polls and, after weeks of controversy over racially charged remarks, fired his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday.

Despite winning the Republican primary contest on 4 May, Trump evidently did not enjoy an immediate boost in fundraising. Donors gave just over $3m that month. Clinton, by contrast, brought in more than $26m in May.

Much of Trumps spending went to companies owned by himself. He spent over $423,000 on facility rental and catering at his Florida resort Mar-A-Lago, and another $350,000 on travel air on Tag Air, the holding company that owns Trumps jet. In total roughly 20% of Trumps expenditures in May went to his own companies, or in reimbursements to Trumps children.

Trump loaned his effort another $2.2m, bringing his total outlay over the past year to about $46m almost all of which is loans. During speeches the self-proclaimed billionaire has claimed that low spending should be seen as a strength, not a weakness, and noted that Jeb Bushs millions did not lead to political success.

However his meagre total of $1.3m in campaign cash on hand falls well short of the previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who in May 2012 raised $23.4m and had more than $17m in the bank.

Most pro-Trump super Pacs were not due to file financial reports on Monday, having either just formed recently or being subject to a different schedule. Great America Pac took in $1.4m in May, the most it has raised so far. Its donors include Stanley Hubbard, a Minnesota-based broadcasting executive, who gave $25,000.

Clinton entered June with a war chest of more than $42m, up from $30m a month earlier and her highest in any other FEC report to date. This reflects how Clinton was able to ease up on advertising spending as the threat from primary opponent Bernie Sanders receded.

She spent about $14m in May down from almost $24m in April and $31.6m in February, when the senator from Vermont posed a significant challenge.

Clinton raised more than $26m in May. Her campaign said this came from more than 650,000 contributions from about 430,000 people. The average donation was about $44.

Were starting the general election in strong financial shape thanks to the support of more than 1.3 million people and strategic investments that helped us conserve our resources, said Robby Mook, campaign manager for Clinton.

That grassroots support will be critical to our success and will ensure that we have the resources we need to communicate Hillary Clintons message that we are stronger together.

Clintons campaign has reserved nearly $21m in television ads in the coming weeks in major swing states. In contrast Trumps campaign has yet to make a single general election ad buy.

In addition Priorities USA, the main super Pac helping Clintons presidential election effort, raised $12m in May. Its key contributors include the Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, who gave $3m; and the New York financiers Donald Sussman, who gave $2m, and Bernard Schwartz, who gave $1m.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/20/hillary-clinton-fundraising-report-donald-trump-us-election

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