Business / Billionaires

Not Most Expensive: Trump Presidential Campaign

In a race that requires deep pockets — or at least truly generous donations — the finish line is dependant on just how far your war chest can take you.

Jul 22, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

As a man whose name is synonymous with all things grandiose and over-the-top, one would have expected Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign to snag the top spot for grandiosity, overall luxuriousness and of course, hugeness. As a man who boasts a net worth of over US$10 billion dollars (Forbes refutes this and estimates it to be around $4.5 billion), many would not have been surprised with an exorbitant amount.

Surprisingly, the billionaire is only fourth on the list of big spenders with a total expenditure of $73 million, as reported by Bloomberg. The surprisingly humble sum is far lower than what he was prepared to fork out of his own pocket to get his foot through the doors of the White House back in 2011. In fact his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has spent more than three times than the business mogul for her campaign.

Thus far, the Republican nominee has brought out $50 million for his campaign, which he called a loan — he then promptly forgave the loans, according to Bloomberg. To date, the Republican candidate has spent $20 million on advertising, $8.4 million on travel and $7.6 million on promotional items. In comparison, Clinton has spent $82.5 million on advertising and $15.4 million on travel. This is not to say The Donald was stuck in the cheap seats.

To put things in perspective, Trump has spent twice as much of his personal money on his private jet than in donations to his campaign. Other candidates have had to rent private jets by the hour while he jets around with a silk-lined master bedroom, master bath with 24-karat gold fixtures and gold plated seat belts everywhere. In addition to this comfortable means of travel, Trump also has two Sikorsky S-76B helicopters at his beck and call.

The reason for the relatively small sum spent by his campaign, is simple: Free media attention. The New York Times estimated back in March that nearly $2 billion worth of airtime has been given to Trump alone. This dwarfs Clinton’s earned media coverage that amounted to $746 million (The Donald can certainly claim that he has earned the coverage in this story – Ed). Adding to this list is the steady flow of donation from individuals such as Robert Mercer and fellow property tycoon Llwyd Ecclestone, meaning Trump will never have to worry about the funding for the final leg of his race to the White House.

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