Trump Didn't End Up Spending $100M on His Campaign

He only made it about two-thirds of the way there
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Trump's Total Outlay for Campaign: $66.1M
Donald Trump coughed up $66.1 million of his own cash to run for president.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Donald Trump initially said he'd spend up to $1 billion to run for president, then cut that down to $100 million, but per campaign filings Thursday, he only made it about two-thirds of the way there. USA Today reports the total Trump ponied up was $66.1 million, according to the FEC filings. All told, the Trump campaign and his allies raised about $600 million during the entire election season, while Hillary Clinton's camp pulled together $1.2 billion—meaning, as Politico notes, "Trump won with half as much money as Clinton raised." In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, Clinton depleted $132 million in her last-ditch push (with about $840,000 left over), while Trump went through almost $95 million (including $3 million paid to his own companies), with about $7.6 million left in the bank.

But it wasn't the amount that made the difference in those critical final days, Trump's digital director, Brad Parscale, tells the AP—it was how that money was spent. He says a $7 million "closing" TV ad paid off, as did Trump's campaign and the GOP throwing in about $5 million toward get-out-the-vote digital ads in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida. "What if we hadn't spent that?" Parscale says. "We might not have won." Parscale's web marketing firm was the recipient of at least $29 million of Trump's campaign funds for the digital ads and consulting work it did. The AP and Washington Post note Trump's fundraising is still going strong, bringing in millions more since Nov. 8, with the money coming in from Trump hats and ornaments helping fund his current "thank you" tour around the US. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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