The clearest (no spin) summary of Clinton & Trump campaign bucks

Anti-"dark money" ad from AVAAZ, the Corporate Reform Coalition, and Public Citizen.

In the coming weeks on Full Measure, I’ll be reporting on the big money backers behind the candidates. Why does it matter? This money is what’s being used to influence much of what you see on the news and the Internet. And, as you can imagine, the budget is huge. Political, corporate and special interests whose financial fate rests with who gets elected are spending hundreds of millions of dollars — often in surreptitious ways — to convince you to vote for their candidate (or against the other guy/gal).

Money is raised for the candidates both directly and indirectly. The direct money comes into their campaigns. The indirect money (called “outside spending”) is raised by political action committees, super PACs and 501(c) “dark money” organizations that can raise unlimited funds without disclosing who the donors are.

Anti-dark money ad sponsored by Public Citizen and other watchdogs.

Anti-dark money ad sponsored by Public Citizen and other watchdogs.

The “outside spending” is largely used to conduct opposition research, buy negative ads, maintain websites and blogs that attack the opponent, influence the news and social media, use PR firms to disseminate messaging, arrange for surrogates to appear as guests on news programs, and hire “trackers” to follow around the opponent and record any missteps. For example, sometimes these groups use software so that one actor can maintain multiple, fake social media accounts under various identities with unique I.P. addresses to create memes and advance narratives that sway opinion of mass audiences online and set the news agenda. They may also hire people to “comment” on online news stories and attack users on social media who oppose their candidate.

Here’s how things stack up today:

Hillary Clinton supporters have raised more than twice as much money overall: $516.7 million total compared to Donald Trump’s $205.8 million total.screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-4-41-13-pm

Clinton has triple the “outside money” support. The largest pro-Clinton super PAC has raised over $143 million compared to the largest pro-Trump super PAC, which has raised about $40 million.

Clinton’s largest block of “outside money” contributors are Wall Street banks: $58.5 million, followed by “retired” with nearly $46 million.

Trump’s largest block of “outside money” contributors are “retired,” by far, with $14 million.


Clinton has a greater percentage of large contributors (59%) compared to Trump (16%).


The biggest contributor to Trump ($15.5 million) is also the second biggest contributor to Clinton ($11.5): hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.

Besides Renaissance Technologies, Trump’s other top donors include real estate interests and a casino. Besides Renaissance Technologies, Clinton’s other top donors are hedge funds Paloma Partners ($13.1 million) and Soros Fund Management ($10.5) million.


Clinton has many contributors above $1 million. Trump shows three.

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

Clinton’s money stats

Trump’s money state

Here’s the candidates’ tallies from last May


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3 Responses to “The clearest (no spin) summary of Clinton & Trump campaign bucks”

  1. Mike Dumais
    October 3, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    It is interesting that in 1995, Bill Clinton bailed out the Mexican banks. The biggest single winner was arguably Carlos Slim, a billionaire who would become the richest man in the world after (and because of) the bailout. Times were tough that year and Trump lost over 900 million dollars. NAFTA of course was passed the previous year by Clinton.
    Now Carlos gets to return the favor by supporting and defending Hillary.
    The major stockholder of the NYT is Carlos Slim, 17%. One of the richest men in the world a Mexican with business interests that are threatened by Trump’s stand on NAFTA.

    Chris Wallace is Mike Wallace’s son, spent his childhood surrounded by liberal media giants, is a life long registered democrat and has lived in the DC area all his life. “Fair and Balanced” is relative.
    Chris is a poser, he is no journalist.

    The real stories here are that we have another foreigner interfering in our political process by controlling the media and the thought process of so many in America, we have another influence peddling scheme by the Clintons.
    The questions a real journalist would have asked are: “How do you feel Donald should respond to a jealous foreign billionaire attempting to influence our elections?” “Are sanctions against Mexico justified in this circumstance?” “Should the government have any control over outside frenimies who own and operate our information institutions?” “Is the real reason the NYT is attacking Trump so that Carlos Slim can preserve his unfair advantages in NAFTA?”


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