With less than two weeks until Election Day, Donald Trump is finally spending more on TV ads than Hillary Clinton, belatedly cutting into what has been a gigantic edge for Democrats throughout the campaign.
From Washington Times
Mr. Trump spent $14.4 million in the week from Oct. 18 through Monday, topping the $13.9 million spent by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. During the closing stretch, Mr. Trump is projected to spend $30.6 million to Mrs. Clinton’s $22.2 million, according to Kantar Media/CMAG data analyzed by Bloomberg Politics.
The Republican presidential nominee boosted his ad spending in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and went back on the air in Virginia after a five-week absence in a state that had appeared to have slipped from his grasp.
Mr. Trump frequently wonders aloud why he doesn’t get more credit for hanging tough in the polls while spending far less than Mrs. Clinton. He says the country needs more thinking like that.
But he has also signaled that he plans to put even more of his considerable fortune into his campaign during the closing stretch.
“I will be over $100 million, and it could be much more than that,” he told ABC News this week, saying the total already stands at about $61 million.
Even then, he would have a long way to go to catch up with Mrs. Clinton, who has outraised and outspent Mr. Trump throughout. Her campaign has invested $173 million on TV ads, dwarfing Mr. Trump’s $58.4 million.
“Had he put in a couple hundred million dollars early on, bought the time necessary and had a full advertising plan in the target states, this might be a very different election,” said Charlie Spies, who worked on the Jeb Bush Right to Rise super PAC. “But he’s refused to do it.”
Mrs. Clinton is still spending money in Arizona and made buys in Texas last week — both traditionally Republican states where polls are surprisingly close and Democrats hope to score an upset.
She also bought advertising to try to battle Mr. Trump in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where polling has shown the Republican nominee has a shot at its one Electoral College vote in a state Mrs. Clinton is likely to win overall. In a mirror-image scenario, Mrs. Clinton is also advertising in Nebraska to try to win the Electoral College vote of the 2nd Congressional District, a more liberal enclave in a conservative state.
But with the airwaves already saturated and early voting under way in many battleground states, it’s unclear how much any late spending blitz would move the needle.
Mr. Spies said it’s possible for Mr. Trump to make a dent, even at this late stage.
“If he was running a disciplined closing two weeks of the campaign with himself and surrogates on message talking about change in Washington and fighting the corrupt system, with $25 million of advertisements … that could actually be very effective,” he said. “But they’ve shown no ability to do that.”
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