Donald Trump Adopts Bernie Sanders' Fundraising Strategy, But There's One Reason It Might Not Work
Donald Trump’s “self-funding” campaign sent out another fundraising email on Monday asking supporters to chip in $10 each to help the real estate mogul cover the costs of his presidential bid. Trump adopted Bernie Sanders’ fundraising strategy, but there’s a key difference: Unlike Sanders, Trump claims to be worth $10 billion, and it’s a bit uncouth for a multi-billionaire to request small-dollar donations from their non-billionaire supporters.
In the email, Trump’s son Eric said that the campaign was aiming to raise $10 million from supporters by Thursday night; it was at least the sixth time over the last week that the Trump campaign had asked its supporters for money, according to AP.
"Donald J. Trump is the man our nation needs in the White House at this moment," Trump’s son Eric wrote in the fundraising appeal. “He had no problem taking on the political establishment to secure the Republican nomination, and now he's going after Lying Crooked Hillary Clinton in a way that no one has ever gone after her before."
In one sense, this flurry of solicitations isn’t a surprise, because Trump’s fundraising has been appallingly terrible up to this point. Last week, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had 42 times more money in the bank than Trump’s, an astonishing deficit that capped off what was already an awful week for The Donald. It’s no wonder his campaign is on a mad dash to play catch-up with the presumptive Democratic nominee.
On the other hand, why would Trump, who notably spoke the words “I’m self-funding my own campaign” earlier in the year, need to ask his supporters for cash? After all, most of his supporters aren’t multi-billionaires, or even regular billionaires. Trump’s string of fundraising requests have led some to speculate that he may not be worth the $10 billion he says he’s worth.
“I think he’s lying, as does pretty much every expert and financial journalist who has looked into the question,” conservative writer Jonah Goldberg said of Trump’s claims. “Forbes has put his net worth at $4.5 billion. Bloomberg says it’s below $3 billion. Billionaire Mark Cuban has cast doubt on whether Trump is even a billionaire at all.”
Sanders broke fundraising records during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and famously boasted that the average donation to his campaign was just $27 dollars. But Sanders’ net worth is reportedly under half a million dollars. Even if Trump isn’t actually worth billions of dollars, he has nevertheless said that he’s worth that much, which might make his fundraising request fall on deaf ears. Or maybe not. We’ll find out after his campaign’s next FEC filing.