The Trump Campaign Has Spent More On Hats Than On Polling

And they wonder why they are losing, give me a break.

According to the Federal Election Commission filings, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has spent $1.8 million on polling from June 2015 through September of this year (the most recent month for which data are available).

The report also lists $3.2 million spent on hats.

Trump has probably spent more on hats than he has spent on direct mail. The campaign filings occasionally aggregate a few things from the same vendor under one line-item, so some of the hat spending was on collateral generally that includes some hats.

His campaign spent more than $2 million on a line-item that was exclusively hats, though. Overall, Trump’s spent about $15.3 million on collateral — shirts, hats, signs, etc. — more than he has spent on field consulting and voter lists and data.

He has spent at least twice as much on collateral as he has on payroll.

In one apparent concession to the traditions of running a political campaign, Trump has at least started spending more on ads.

The FEC reports don’t go into great detail about what is or isn’t ad spending, so they included things like direct mail, telemarketing services (which probably went to fundraising), the campaign’s website and digital outreach and so on.


Trump Campaign Admits They Are Using Voter Suppression Tactics
November 2, 2016 – 9:00am

The Trump campaign is publicly admitting that they are trying to win the election with three voter suppression efforts targeting white liberals, young women, and African-Americans.

Bloomberg reported:

To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official.

They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters.

The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls — particularly in Florida.

The effort was obvious, and according to the polling, it is failing.

Voter turnout among young women is expected to rise according to the latest Harvard IOP young voters poll. Sanders started flocking towards Clinton in August, and haven’t left, and early voting statistics show that African-American turnout is solid in swing states.

The Trump campaign has realized that they don’t have enough votes to win, so they are adopting tactics that run contrary to the heart of democracy to shrink the electorate in critical states.

However, for voter suppression efforts like Trump’s to be effective, the campaign must have a credible messenger. Donald Trump is not a credible messenger to any of the voters that he is trying to deter, and he has no effective surrogates that are capable of delivering his message.

A voter suppression effort was expected from the Trump campaign. What is unexpected is that the campaign would publicly brag about it.

People on all sides of the political spectrum who care about basic democratic institutions should be alarmed by Trump???s public attack on democracy.

The good news for all Americans is that Democrats are already fighting back, and the Trump campaign’s dark efforts to steal an election appear to be failing.


Trump’s Donors Paid For His Private Jet His Hotels And Now His Books
November 2, 2016 – 8:00am

Now if I were a Republican who donated money to the Trump campaign I would be mad that he spent the money on this nonsense.

Donald Trump used small donors money to buy nearly $300,000 worth of books from the publisher of his Art of the Deal last month, continuing a pattern of putting campaign money back into his own businesses.

The Oct. 15 Federal Election Commission filing for Trump Make America Great Again Committee does not specify which books in particular were purchased, but the committee’s own website suggests it was Trump’s 1987 business bestseller.

“I’ve signed an out-of-print, hardcover copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’ just for you, because I want you on board with Team Trump!” Trump wrote in an Aug. 2 fundraising email, which went on to offer the book for a minimum donation of $184.

Trump’s statement calling the book out-of-print, repeated on the committee’s website, however, is false. The Art of the Deal had a new paperback edition printed last October, and the hardcover is currently in print and available from Random House and retail booksellers. Barnes and Noble is selling it right now for $22.35.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump claims on his web site that his book, The Art of the Deal, is out of print. It is not, and is available both from his publisher and booksellers. Federal Election Commission Records show that his fundraising committee purchased $300,000 worth of books in August and September.

The Trump Make America Great Again Committee is a joint fundraising operation between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. An RNC spokeswoman referred a question about the books to the Trump campaign, which did not return phone calls and emails requesting comment.

Random House representatives also did not respond to Huffington Post queries.

While a second joint Trump-RNC committee concentrates on large contributions, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee focuses on small-dollar donations using online and direct-mail fundraising.

As of Sept. 30, 77 percent of all the money it raised came from donors who have given less than $200.

According to the committee’s Oct. 15 FEC filing, it paid Penguin/Random House $91,866 on Aug. 30, $98,975 on Sept. 1, and another $98,975 on Sept. 22. The purpose for all three was listed as: “Collateral: Books.”

The publishing house has printed five titles by Trump, including How to Get Rich and Think Like a Billionaire. The biggest seller, though, was The Art of the Deal, which was published in 1987 but has remained in print ever since. Trump frequently boasts about it in his campaign speeches, and it is the only one mentioned on the Trump fundraising website.

At the standard bulk discount offered by publishers, Trump’s fundraising committee could have purchased some 17,000 copies of the hardcover edition. Under a typical publishing contract, that quantity would generate over $70,000 in royalties, which Trump would have to split with his co-author.

So in other words, Trump made money on the campaign donations, buying his own lame books.

According to Trump’s financial disclosure statement filed in May, Trump received between $50,000 and $100,000 in royalties for that title over the previous year. The Daily Beast previously reported that Trump spent $55,000 in money from his own campaign to buy copies of his latest book, Crippled America, which was published by Simon and Schuster. Copies were distributed to GOP delegates attending the summer convention in Cleveland.

The purchase of books is just the latest example of Trump using donors money to purchase goods and services from his own businesses and generating personal profit for himself.

Trump houses his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, where the campaign pays $169,758 a month for office space at about $100 per square foot. (The Clinton campaign, in contrast, rents two floors in a Brooklyn Heights office building for about $32 per square foot.)

Trump paid his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach $423,373 on the same day in May that his campaign finalized a deal with the RNC that began bringing him hundreds of millions of dollars of outside donations — even though the only events he held there were two victory parties and an afternoon news conference two months earlier. He could have held those three events at nearby hotels for a total of about $40,000.

In July, Trump’s campaign sent $48,240 to his Westchester County golf course. The only event it had hosted for him was a June 7 victory party. Trump could have used a ballroom at a nearby Marriott hotel for less than half that much.

And Trump’s insistence on using his own personal Boeing 757 jet is now costing taxpayers millions of dollars extra. Because Trump’s Secret Service detail is making up a large percentage — and on some days even a majority — of the flying passengers, the agency must pay a proportionate share of the $10,000-an-hour flying costs.

So in other words, taxpayers are paying Trump money so he can use his own private jet.

Had Trump chosen to charter a more suitable airliner that would accommodate his staff, his security detail and his traveling press corps, as both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and previous GOP nominees have done, he could have driven down the costs for everyone.

Trump’s staff has defended his decisions to spend more at his own businesses rather than use less-expensive alternatives by pointing out that he is contributing $2 million a month to his own campaign.

That $2 million figure, however, is dwarfed by the many tens of millions of dollars per month coming to Trump’s campaign from both large and small donors.