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Eye On Candidates
September 21, 2016

Inside Trump’s campaign spending

Donald Trump's campaign filed its fundraising reports last night (as did Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson - Green Party candidate Jill Stein apparently failed to file by the deadline), and The Washington Post provides an interesting look at where he is spending his money:

Donald Trump finally ramped up his campaign spending. So where did the money go?

Now we can report that Trump has, at long last, ramped up his campaign spending, paying out nearly $30 million in August, according to his new Federal Election Commission filing. That's still less than Clinton, who went through $49 million, with 68 percent of her funds going to ad buys and production. But it is the most he ever spent in a month by far, and signals that the real estate developer is finally investing in the semblance of an infrastructure.

So where did the money go?

The campaign's largest investment continues to be in digital consulting and online ads. Giles-Parscale, a San Antonio-based firm whose president, Brad Parscale, serves as the Trump campaign’s digital director, was once again the biggest vendor for the month, collecting $11.1 million, much of which was directed to digital ads.  The company, which got its foothold designing websites for the Trump Organization in 2011, had previously been paid $12.5 million this cycle.

The one thing that isn't clear from the article is how much of Trump's spending was devoted to fundraising efforts - some or even most of those digital ads were more about bringing in contributions than they were informing or persuading voters to support his campaign. But Trump's "lean" campaign has recently increased it's previously negligible television spending, and the next report in mid-October will give a fuller picture of just how much the Republican nominee's efforts have come to resemble more conventional presidential campaigns and how much he continues to blaze his own path.