Trump’s $30 Million First Quarter Raise Doesn’t Outpace Democrats At All

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Someone really needs to teach this headline writer about numbers. But then it’s Slate we’re talking about so there’s a forlorn hope – those who are good with numbers aren’t going to be over on the left there, are they? Trump’s raised $30 million in campaign donations in the first quarter. This is not more than the Democrats have raised, this is less. Thus this headline is the precise opposite of the truth or accuracy:

Trump’s Campaign Raises $30 Million in First Quarter, Far Outpacing Democrats

Well, no, as the piece itself points out:

President Donald Trump raised more than $30 million for his re-election bid in the first three months of the year, according to his campaign. That means the commander in chief now has $40.8 million of cash on hand, which amounts to a record at this stage of the race and is far higher than any of the Democratic hopefuls. In fact, it is more than the combined total of what the top two candidates raised considering Sen. Bernie Sanders got $18.2 million and Sen. Kamala Harris, $12 million.

$18.2 and $12 is $30.2 which, in our, undoubtedly right wing, math is more than $30. And we’ve only included two of the elebenty seben Democratic candidates announced so far. Add in Beto’s miracle on Day One, whoever it is that is misguided enough to have donated to Elizabeth Warren and whatever Good Ol’ Joe – who isn’t officially running yet – has and the D total is far larger than Trump’s.

Other points being made are obviously true:

There’s concern within Democratic circles that while Democrats fight among themselves in the primary, Trump will continue building up his war chest to give him a huge advantage once the general campaign starts.

Sure, it costs money and time to decide between the political mistress, Glad Hands himself and the Screech from ‘Setts as to who is going to be the candidate. The money spent upon doing that is thus what cannot be spent upon the general election. Every party not enjoying incumbency always faces this problem.

However, there’s something rather more important going on:

In an unprecedented move, Trump’s campaign also has merged its operations with the Republican National Committee, giving the president’s campaign operatives a leading role in guiding field operations, well ahead of the general election.

This will – indeed does – gall lifetime political operatives but Trump played them last time around. He understood the electoral system, properly grasped that the Electoral College is the point at issue and ignored the popular vote. He did not, for example, campaign once at all in California. Why bother? All of the Electoral College votes were going to go to Hillary whatever he did in CA. He was never going to flip the place after all.

Combining the two sets of campaign administration are going to mean much the same this time around. A ruthless focus on exactly where money and time spent are going to make a difference. There are states where the red candidate merely needs to be alive to win. There are those where blue could put up a stuffed donkey – to the extent that the standard electoral address isn’t a pinata – and sweep. Given that Trump knows – provably – how to go for the electoral jugular all the money and effort is going to be focused on those swing states.

And the Dems better hope that their electoral team is rather better this time around than the folks who lost it for Hillary. Yes, that means you John Podesta.