It would be more than fair to say that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has much less money behind her than Republican nominee Donald Trump, who alongside personal wealth has the support of a major political party. However, during the 2016 election season, Green Party presumptive nominee Jill Stein has already outspent Donald Trump when it comes to TV ads. She’s not alone either, both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson have spent more than Trump on ad buys.
However, that isn’t all too surprising, according to the Washington Post, as controversial candidate Donald Trump has so far spent absolutely nothing on TV advertising during his general election campaign. Clinton is quite expectedly the big spender when it comes to TV ads. Her campaign has so far shelled out $52.3 million in TV advertising, coupled with $37.1 million by her PACS. That’s compared to the $189,000 and $15,000 that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson’s respective campaigns have spent on TV ads.
That being said, whilst Donald Trump’s campaign has spent absolutely nothing on TV advertising, his PACS have put up $8.2 million, reserving some advertising time. However, that equates to around 10 percent of what Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her PACS have spent so far on ad campaigns.
When it comes to her advertising budget, Clinton has followed the fairly typical trend of previous candidates. For example, according to the Daily Beast, Clinton currently has a national TV buy running during the Olympics with her campaign alone spending $13.6 million on NBC to advertise during Olympics coverage. In 2012, both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney followed a similar strategy. With one Romney veteran saying “I’d love to know what they’re waiting for,” in reference to the Trump campaign.
It is definitely difficult to understand why the Trump campaign isn’t spending money on TV advertising, which some have said is crucial to winning an election. In fact, it’s only going to get more difficult for Trump to claim advertising slots as time goes on. If he’s waiting until closer to the election to spend his advertising budget, he’ll have to compete with the Clinton campaign, alongside a number of other people running for the Senate, the House and local office, all looking to make their case during prime time.
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Donald Trump’s decision to so far not spend any money on TV advertising during the general election is made even more interesting by the fact that he did spend some money on TV advertising whilst campaigning against his primary opponents for the Republican nomination. However, even then, it wasn’t an awful lot of money. The pro-Jeb Bush group Right to Rise had spent around $50 million on advertising by January, whilst Donald Trump’s campaign had spent little over $1 million in comparison.
So what exactly is Donald Trump spending his money on? Whilst Trump’s campaign finance information for July isn’t yet available, his June finances show that the biggest amount of money the Republican candidate spent was on fundraising consultants, despite not spending all that much of the funds he’s raised.
With the biggest net worth of any candidate in the 2016 presidential race and having held plenty of fundraising events, Donald Trump has more than enough money to spend. However, it remains to be seen why he isn’t spending it and why even third party candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are outspending him. It’ll now be interesting to see whether Donald Trump steps up his spending, particularly in TV advertizing as the general election approaches.
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