Presidential races

Trump lags behind Clinton in campaign staff, pollsters

Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began his sprint to the November election with a skeletal staff, new reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

Meanwhile, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton expanded both her army of field operatives and a stable of veteran party pollsters.
{mosads}The reports show Trump’s campaign was paying salaries to just 68 staffers as of June 30. Ten other senior Trump aides, including communications director Hope Hicks and frequent surrogates Sam Clovis and Katrina Pierson, are being paid as consultants.
Clinton’s campaign paid 651 staffers in the final week of June, according to her report. The Democrat’s campaign also paid 14 strategic consultants in cities across the country, as well as seven of the party’s top pollsters.
Trump’s campaign reported paying 50 other people as “field consultants.” Those payments, of just a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, went to supporters in states across the country. One was Don Benton, a Washington state senator who serves as Trump’s state campaign chairman.
The Trump campaign reported receiving $26.7 million in the month of June and spending $7.8 million. His campaign ended the month with $20.2 million on hand — up from just $1.3 million at the end of May. 
In June, Trump also forgave millions of dollars in loans he had made to his own campaign, a move meant to demonstrate to other potential donors his commitment to the race.
Clinton’s campaign raised $36.3 million in June and ended the month with $44.3 million in the bank.
FEC filings show the Trump campaign spent $180,000 last month on services from companies owned or operated under the umbrella of the Trump organization. Much of that money went to rent, to pay for campaign headquarters in Trump Tower, and to a payroll company Trump owns. The campaign also spent $428 on bottled water from Trump Ice.
The campaign continues its heavy spending on merchandise, including $217,000 on Trump’s trademark “Make America Great Again” hats, manufactured by a company in California. The campaign also spent $749,000 on T-shirts, mugs and stickers made by a company in Louisiana.
Clinton’s campaign spent far less, about $116,000, on merchandise. But she is paying much more for public opinion polling, on which Trump has spent little. Clinton’s campaign reported spending $1.7 million on polling in the month of June alone. 
That money went to firms including Benenson Strategy Group, run by Clinton’s chief strategist, Joel Benenson, as well as Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, Normington Petts and David Binder, all prominent Democratic pollsters.
Like Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have their own empire of employees, some working the former president and others working at the Clinton Global Foundation. And like Trump, that empire requires its own payroll firm, Clinton Executive Services Corp., which handles benefits for campaign staff.
Since becoming the presumptive nominee in May, Trump has continued bolstering his campaign staff. This week, the organization said it had hired Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality series, to handle outreach to African-American voters. In the last few weeks, the campaign has hired a new senior spokesman, a rapid-response director who once worked for Ultimate Fighting Championship, and campaign staffers in swing states like Ohio.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) can add some boots on the ground, but FEC reports show that it, too, has been slow to hire. The RNC reported 245 staffers received paychecks on June 29. Fifty interns also received stipends.
The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, had 294 people on its payroll as of June 30.
The disparity between staff sizes is evident in swing states like Florida, where Democrats maintain a paid team more than twice the size of the Republicans’. Trump announced this week his campaign had hired Jennifer Loretta, formerly a top staffer at the Florida Republican Party, to lead his campaign in the state; she joins about 70 other paid staffers, most of whom are paid by the RNC.
Clinton, who is campaigning in Florida this weekend ahead of the Democratic National Convention, has had six senior staffers in the state for months. In total, Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party have about 200 staffers there.
Tags Bill Clinton Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video