Trump Reneges on Self-financed Campaign

Trump backs off his declaration of a self-financed campaign

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump–billionaire celebrity–announced his full intent to run for the 2016 Presidency.   There, Trump announced his commitment to a self-funded campaign, whereby he declared: “I’m not using anybody’s money … I’m using my own money.  I’m not using the lobbyists.  I’m not using donors.  I don’t care.  I’m really rich.”  Months later, a Federal Elections Commission filing shows Trump is not only receiving donations, but those donations have outpaced Trump’s own contributions.

Additionally, Trump has an extremely high burn rate of his campaign funds, compared to the rest of the republicans in the presidential race.  Here, Trump’s burn rate is at 96% of total funds raised.  The second highest burn rates are at 59%, shared by Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.  Furthermore, a large portion of Trump’s expenditures are attributed to Trump owned businesses, subsidiaries, and affiliates.  Therefore, Trump has not only reneged on his promise of a self-financed campaign, but has used donations to help feed his companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates.

Read: Media Spotlight Turns to Trump

Campaign Investing

Notwithstanding, Trump’s staying power continues to grow, and, thus, donations will likely continue to grow, as well.  Notably, in previous self-financed attempts by cash-king business men, a campaign approach is similar to an investment: money and interest are contingent on the yield.  That is, if the campaign is doing well, money will continue to flow; if the campaign begins to sink, the investor (candidate) will spin off the campaign.

In Trump’s case, the polls continue to lean in his favor.  This is especially true when compared to many of the other republican candidates’ numbers, where Trump has consistently held a 5+ lead with only few drops, here and there.  However, in polls comparing Trump to Clinton, virtually every poll leans in Clinton’s favor.  The gap between Trump and Clinton numbers come closest at times when desperation and fear run amuck in voters, like last week’s San Bernardino lone wolf terrorist attack.

In sum, Trump’s staying power has defeated political pundits, and critics alike.  In so doing, Trump will continue to treat his campaign like a growing business by plowing money into it.  However, contrary to Trump’s promise of a self-financed campaign, his campaign will be using donations by others, which have now outpaced his own contributions.  

Therefore, perhaps Americans should be asking what happened to the self-financed campaign promise, and does this indicate Trump’s own thoughts on his ability to win the election–or the lack thereof.  

Authored by: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione