One of the perks of the incumbency is that it usually means a cash advantage when it comes time for reelection. That was the case for Obama in 2012 and Bush in 2004. It was also the case for Trump, at least for a while. But somehow, his campaign has managed to burn through a substantial financial advantage.
When Joe Biden became the presumptive nominee for the Democrats in the spring, he was pretty much broke. Between Trump and the Republican National Committee, they had $200 million more than the Dems.
But just five months later, Trump’s cash advantage has evaporated. From the beginning of 2019 to July of this year, his campaign raised $1.1 billion. Since the spring, they’ve blown through $800 million of it. Now with just eight weeks to go in the race, the president’s campaign is facing a cash crunch.
Who’s Going to Take the Fall?
Brad Parscale was the campaign manager until July when Bill Stepien replaced him. During Parscale’s time at the head, he wasted hundreds of millions of dollars. He gave the okay for extravagant spending on payroll, including money that went directly to Trump’s family members and businesses. A lot of the spending was done to appease Trump’s ego.
Now that the campaign is strapped for cash with just weeks to go before the election, it looks like they are trying to make Parscale the fall guy. But he’s not going down without a fight. He’s claiming that he didn’t make a move without the approval of the Trump family.
When this whole thing is inevitably investigated for corruption, it will be interesting to see Trump try to pin it all on Parscale, while the former campaign manager points fingers at the family. Parscale is also throwing the RNC’s Ronna McDaniel under the bus, saying that he coordinated all spending with her.
The irony of this scandal is that the Trump campaign’s lavish spending did nothing to help Trump in the polls. With less than 60 days to go, Trump is trailing Biden nationally and in most of the critical swing states. And to add insult to injury, the Biden campaign is killing it with fundraising. In August, they hauled in a record-setting $365 million. Most of that came from grassroots, small donors.