According to campaign finance reporting by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump has now spent more than $46 million on his campaign. Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have spent $151 million and $165 million, respectively, or more than $316 million combined. Trump’s expenditures are 28% of Sanders’ expenditures and 30% of Clinton’s.
Republican contenders Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have spent $70 million, $60 million, $45 million and $34 million, respectively, on their failed campaigns. With Trump having gathered 1,168 delegates to date, Cruz 574, Carson 7, Rubio 168 and Bush 4, the dollars spent per delegate for Republicans are $39k for Trump, $122k for Cruz, $8.6 million for Carson, $268k for Rubio and $8.5 million per delegate for Bush. Based on this data, Trump has spent less than 1% that of Bush per delegate.
The Democrats have a larger number of delegates than Republicans, including what are referred to as “super delegates”. Clinton has gathered 2,276 delegates to Sanders’ 1,541. Based on this, Clinton has spent 67k per delegate and Sanders has spent $107k per candidate.
There are a total of 4,765 Democrat delegates and 2,472 Republican delegates, for almost a 2 to 1 ratio in delegates (1.93). Based on this, using the Republican delegate count, Clinton has spent $129k per delegate and Sanders $207k per delegate won. Of the top seven spending candidates, Trump is the only candidate to spend less than $120k per delegate ($39k).
Trump has loaned himself more than $35 million of his own money for his campaign. No other candidate has come close to providing this kind of money for their own campaign. Trump’s campaign is a great example of capitalism; because Trump is spending his own money he is more cautious in how he spends it and he has achieved much better results.
Sanders and Clinton have raised $182 million and $180 million, respectively to date, totaling more than $362 million. Most of this has been spent as noted above.
The Democrat’s contributions have not come without controversy. Sanders complained in April that Clinton has benefited illegally from a joint fundraising committee known as the Hillary Victory Fund. This fund has reported receiving several individual contributions in amounts as high as $353,400 or more, which is over 130 times the $2,700 limit that applies for contributions to Secretary Clinton’s campaign. (We’ll see if anything is ever done about this.)
No such controversy exits on the Republican side since Trump’s receipts to date have been from himself. Trump has not received the fair recognition from the press for paying for his own campaign to date.
Trump has beaten 16 solid Republican candidates while spending less and supporting his own campaign. He has done this with millions in negative advertising spent against him. The only way that Trump can possibly be leading the race, is that his positions on fair trade, immigration and standing up to radical Islam, to name a few, have to be resonating with Americans.