One of Donald Trump’s greatest talents is his ability to make some money sound like a lot of money. It’s a skill that’s about to come in handy because, as of the end of May, his campaign doesn’t really have much actual money. According to the Trump campaign’s Federal Election Commission filing for the month of May, the Donald’s campaign fundraising, even after becoming the presumptive nominee, has been almost nonexistent.
Those are astonishingly low numbers in the modern era of presidential campaigning. By comparison, Mitt Romney raised more than $23.1 million in May 2012 and $467 million in total. (Romney also outspent Trump nearly two-to-one during the same period four years ago.) Here’s some more context:
The 2014 Veronica Mars Kickstarter raised $5.7 million. Of course, Trump says he will be kicking in some of his own dough, which could skew these numbers slightly, but fundraising has always been considered a good early barometer of the strength of a candidate’s support. Trump has run an unorthodox campaign, light on staff, almost nonexistent fundraising, while using earned media or social media to get his message out and respond to attacks. Throughout the nomination battle it worked well for Trump, but cracks are starting to show. Can Trump win skipping over the fundamentals? He’s currently getting buried on air and will have to change gears quickly to prove, if nothing else, that he can run an organization as well as he says he can.
*This post has been updated.