Overcoming the biggest gap in modern campaign finance was just another convention Trump defied.
Hillary Clinton outraised Donald Trump two-to-one. It didn’t matter.
So ends the most lopsided contest in modern campaign finance. And yet the deficit proved just one of the many odds Trump beat, another political convention he busted.
Clinton and her allies, including her joint committees with the Democratic Party and the super PACs supporting her, raised more than $1.2 billion for the full cycle, according to the last reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. Trump and his allies collected about $600 million.
Clinton could not be said to have left anything on the table: her campaign committee blew through $131.8 million in the final stretch of the campaign and finished with just under $839,000 in the bank as of Nov. 28.
Trump’s campaign spent $94.5 million in the period and wrapped up with $7.6 million. Under FEC rules, he can’t use that money to repay the loans he made to his campaign during the primary. But he can use it for his reelection campaign or transfer it to other Republicans for the 2018 midterms.
The Trump campaign continued its pattern of patronizing the candidate’s own businesses, totaling $2.9 million in the final period, or 3 percent of its overall outlays. The payments included $2 million for his private jet, $453,000 for rent in Trump Tower, $177,00 for lodging at his Las Vegas hotel, and $53,400 for meals at Trump restaurants. The campaign also reimbursed Trump and his sons $17,424.29 for their meals and travel, according to the FEC report.
Still, that’s far less than the $66.1 million Trump pumped into his own campaign, including $10 million in the final stretch.
Paid media overtook online advertising as Trump’s biggest expense in the final period, costing $38.9 million and $28.9 million, respectively. The campaign spent $2.3 million on audio visual services and $970,000 on event consulting to produce so many big rallies.
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s polling company received $427,000 in the final period. The campaign maintained a disputed $766,756.67 charge from another pollster, Fabrizio Lee & Associates.