Coming out of their respective conventions, Hillary Clinton campaign had a decisive lead over what Donald Trump’s team had amassed. Partially, because her fundraising machine has been working for years, and also because during the primaries, Trump opted to self-fund his campaign rather than raise outside funds, and even then he didn’t have to dig too deep thanks to the huge amount of “earned media” that was bestowed upon him.
During the two-year period ending in June the Clinton campaign had taken in nearly $275 million, and had spent close to $220 million, leaving her with $44 million on hand. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign had taken in $91 million, and after $71 million in expenditures, had $20 million on hand.
In other words, the campaigns were pretty even when considering how much more they’re estimated to spend through November.
Hillary Clinton has the support of several SuperPAC’s, and they have begun dumping their own dollars into the race, but with Clinton enjoying a healthy over Trump, it might be prudent to hold off on the spending for a bit.
Trump’s war chest is beginning to grow, and he’s finally going to start spending some of the money he’s raised on spots in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. And while one certainly couldn’t fault her campaign for continuing on the offensive, the biggest problem with continued spending now is that it may not leave enough “dry powder” for an October or November surprise, courtesy of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks.
It’s no small thing. Wikileaks timed its dump of internal DNC emails for maximal effect, the weekend before the Democratic National Convention, giving the party scant little time to recover while earning the renewed ire of Bernie Sanders supporters throughout their convention. There should be no doubt that more of this is coming – after all, that’s exactly what Assange told CNN last month.
So with the question being not one of “if” but “when”, and added rumors that Assange has been working with former Trump advisor and current Trump confidant Roger Stone, there is little doubt that coming dumps from Wikileaks will be timed for maximal effect and with as little time to react as possible.
Before Web 2.0, Presidential campaigns waited in fear of an “October Surprise“. But thanks to modern technology, the October surprise will likely come early November. For those of us that are horrified of a Trump Presidency, we should hope that the Clinton Campaign has enough dry powder remaining to buy up as many ad slots as possible, but to produce counter messages nearly at the speed of thought.