Can Trump Raise Money Like Sanders?

“A senior adviser to Trump, Barry Bennett, said in a recent interview that the campaign could use online fundraising to make up for a lack of a traditional fundraising network,” BuzzFeed reports.

Said Bennett: “He’s got 16 million followers on social media, much like Bernie Sanders, and when we turn that on, you are going to see Bernie Sanders–like fundraising.”

“But whether a small-donor-based strategy can raise the amount of money Trump will need to fight likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is, at best, an untested theory, and Trump could find himself forced to pay his own way — in part because Trump’s repeated bashing of the donor class has not helped those making fundraising pleas on his behalf.”

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  • Alki

    “So then he said… ‘you’re going to see Sanders–like fundraising!'”

  • DCDemocrat

    Trump’s problem (and his refusal to release his tax returns proves it) is that he doesn’t have any money. He’s broke and can’t afford to do this.

    • tiredofit

      Trump won’t release tax returns, either? So he is just like Sanders?

      • John Smith

        And Mitt Romney. The same Mitt Romney who later admitted that not releasing his tax returns was the biggest reason he lost in 2012.

        Every day, Donald Trump is a gift that keeps on giving for Hillary Clinton. Her op research people must be exhausted with all the input.

    • LordDart

      Trump isn’t broke…he’s just cheap

      • RG 5626

        He’s not broke. He just does not have anywhere near the money he tells everyone he has. He certainly does not have a spare billion to spend on a campaign.

    • Statetheobvious

      He’s not spending his own money on this. Right now he’s getting a free ride because he gets so much media attention and has an army of devoted volunteers. I’m sure he’s also borrowing heavily.

      He might be right in that he can use the Sanders/Obama method of getting plenty of small donations. His followers love him and look how much money and influence the Tea Party was able to exert: this is largely the same group of voters.

      I also think it’s interesting that the Democrats are hoping Hillary’s big corporate money will be enough to crush Trump’s small-donations-from-ordinary-citizens money. Is that what Democrats are supposed to want?

  • APV

    What’s next? Crowd-sourcing policy positions? An American Idol-style pageant to select the VP?

    • southerndemnut

      I think the Trump VP selection will be something like The Apprentice with the 5-6 candidates that the media has been reporting are on his short list will sit around the table in the board room and they do what they do. Unlike The Apprentice, however, they proceedings won’t be televised. (Although they might be leaked later…)

      • Better Left Said

        This is how he will script the GOP Convention. He will start with a handful of VP Candidates, give them a task each night, and then fire them off one by one until the last candidate standing gets offered the job of VP in the Convention Finale!

      • Alki

        The devolution will not be televised?

        • southerndemnut

          I am sure there will be a docudrama on cable at some point.

      • LarryBurt

        Are you sure it won;t be more like Miss Universe?

        • southerndemnut

          Maybe but we’re in uncharted territory here. I suspect it will be an all male affair and that format wouldn’t look good.

          • LarryBurt

            All male affair? :0)

        • Allan Williams

          It will all come down to that final question…oh, and “World Peace”.

          • abctefg

            I hope he picks her.

          • ChouChou

            I thought he was a basketball player.

        • puddy

          Chris Christie in the swim suit contest….lol….don’t think about it you’ll burn your corneas out.

          • LarryBurt

            Late reply. I had to vomit for a while.

          • ChouChou

            The camel toe King.

    • ChouChou

      Oooooh! Fancy pageant walkin’! I can’t wait to see Christie and Carson on the runway.

  • tiredofit

    I don’t think he realizes that a large proportion of those followers are people just wanted to see if the driver got decapitated in the train wreck.

  • markms

    Trump’s never had to pay anything so far. He’s still got his media corporations giving him free airtime and making huge profits off his circus. They won’t/can’t let him down now. That said, there will be many people who are starry-eyed enough to fall for his hucksterism. They’ll do their part of making him a man of the people by paying him to appear that way.

    • 66kicks

      His campaign supposedly has spent around $30M so far, way more than it has raised. I’ve heard a story or two (I think on NPR) which raised the question about paying that off. By law he has to raise that money before the convention, and there doesn’t seem to be much reason for anyone to donate now that he seems to have the nomination locked up.

      If I were a Trump supporter, why would I want to give some of my hard earned money to a person who claims to be “really rich”?

      • ThatBadOpinionPerson

        He’d have to spend money … it’s a much more targeted race in the general — XYZ battleground states they will select.

      • markms

        There are SOME Trump disciples who will not want to give some of their hard-earned money to a person who claims to be “really rich.” However, there a many Trump supporters who have a disdain for people who ask questions about anything or about their judgment – or lack thereof. Trump is the evangelist for disdaining important questions. That is part of his charm. He will be rewarded by the cash of a good number of true-believers – maybe not as much as by the media who are desperate to coddle him for his circus cash.

      • Statetheobvious

        Because they hate Latinos and Muslims and black people.

        Besides, Hillary is really rich. Are you thinking Democrats won’t give her tons of money?

  • southerndemnut

    I suspect that the vast majority of Trump’s supporters are really not in position to donate a lot of money to campaigns. According to Sanders raised about $200m by March 31st. Assuming his fundraising slowed since then, to be generous, he raised another $50m. That is $250m for a year’s worth of work. That is on a fraction of what it is going to take to run a full bore media campaign this fall especially against Clinton. Meanwhile, Clinton raised nearly as much in total as Sanders over the cycle. I guess if Trump can’t raise a lot of money in order to buy media and outreach, he will just continue to say outlandish things in order to generate attention.

    • Robbissimo

      Even if Trump supporters could donate, why would they? They’re not interesting in donating and never have been. They’re not the kind of people that would put their money where their mouth is any more than Trump. He’ll try to do this on the cheap. Good luck with that!

      • Eric_in_Ann_Arbor

        Especially since he’s flouted his free air time and shoestring budget. He doesn’t NEED to pay for advertising, it pays for him!

    • embo66

      To be fair, Sanders’s donations have mostly been pretty small (that famous $27), with very few tapped out on their $2700 maximum. (I once got a Sanders email asking me to send $0.30!!) Now, I personally could not afford to give nearly $3K to any campaign and I doubt most Trump supporters could, either. But that doesn’t mean that they manage to slowly give $200 over the next 6 months.

      To me, the bigger problem Trump might have is that the Republican rank and file just isn’t used to donating directly to campaigns; they’ve never been asked to and they’ve never really needed to, either. I’m not sure there’s even the same spirit of donating that is so strong in the Democratic Party. Considering Trump has already alienated virtually every big donor out there, that could be a real problem for him.

      heh heh heh

  • Carlos Machina

    It’s hard to believe that people are going to be as enthusiastic in sending a self-proclaimed multi-billionaire their hard-earned cash as they are in sending money to the truly needy Sanders campaign.

    • Robbissimo

      I can hear all the big money donors answering Trump’s call for cash. “You got TEN BILLION DOLLARS!?! Spend your own fucking money, asshole.”

      • ThatBadOpinionPerson

        He’s not liquid though you see.

    • LarryBurt

      Jonathan Chait has an answer for that. He’s finally called it like it is. His supporters are idiots.

  • ralph_wiggam

    The Salesman Extraordinaire will be able to fleece enough rubes of their money to keep his ego satisfied until november.

    Underestimate Trump at your own peril.

  • nowaRINO

    “Must sell more cheap ass ties…”

  • richo123

    Sanders has raised 200 million. Obama and Romney raised 1 billion plus each in 2012.

    That makes you at least 800 million short.

    Too bad.

    • LarryBurt

      Even if he doubles it. His supporters may be financially better off than a good part of Sander’s, but it still doesn’t get him there.

    • ThatBadOpinionPerson

      I think Trump would want to raise about 500 MM, but that’s still putting him in a dead zone right now where it is going to be quite hard for him to raise money. Worse for Trump, the earned media might dry up.

      HRC should actually be thankful there is somewhat of a race on the Democratic side, hopefully, Sanders will realize while it is good for him to be “in the race,” that in order to get any of his goals accomplished it will be through HRC.

      My guess is Sanders might even be in debt right now given those previous high burn rates, so it will be interesting to see how he manages to end the campaign.

  • StoneLaw

    Easy solution: Trump can turn the GOP convention into a four day long telethon and hire Jerry Lewis to be the master of ceremonies. Heck, Trump can be the MC.

    • LarryBurt

      I think Jerry Lewis is retired, but he might be able to get Clint Eastwood.

      • prbqp

        i thought he was dead?

        • LarryBurt

          Well, he was at the last convention he spoke at, but his status hasn’t changed. He’s now 85.

          • ChouChou

            As I recall he died on stage that night.

    • pywaket_1

      It did sadden me quite a bit to find out that Lewis is a Trump supporter. I thought he was a nicer guy that that.

      The one that really breaks my heart is Loretta Lynn.

  • frankelee

    Knowing how the Republican money machine works, I have no doubt he can fleece his masses, the rest of them do. I don’t know that this will make up for a lack of traditional funding, but then I’m not entirely sure either side will win because of a money advantage.

  • So many Trump supporters have said that they liked that he wasn’t beholden to special interests and wasn’t constantly asking for money because he could self-finance. Guess again…..

  • MYMY

    Well, I have seen some of the poorest white people in the country in upstate New York) almost literally bowing before the local banker–who looked like a dead ringer for the plutocrat in the Monopoly game. I’m sure he owned all their mortgages, but they came and testified at a trial on his behalf, dressed in rags. So maybe some poor down and out whites will try to get him $27… though I don’t really tend to think so.

    • ChouChou

      JP Morgan was the model for the Monopoly guy.

  • docb


  • lostintheswamp

    how many hats do you have to sell to net a billion dollars?

    • Bugsy63

      If I’m sending him money, he has to throw in the dead weasel that’s under it.

  • Red Phillips


  • coyote521

    Typical Bernie Supporters:
    Old Hippies who protested war, marched for civil rights, donated a dollar to George McGovern,
    and have supported all sorts of causes, some hopeless but most worth supporting, for their entire adult lives, and young college kids, or recent college graduates who are idealistic and willing to give a few dollars to something they really believe in for the first time in what may be a long lifetime of supporting causes.

    Typical Donald Trump supporters:
    angry white people who are convinced minorities have taken away their jobs and what’s rightfully theirs by getting all this “free stuff” , who’ve never really been involved in politics before, who can’t even tell you how obamacare works, why the civil rights act of 1964 was so important, what’s really in the constitution, how the electoral college works, how a bill gets written and passed, what the limits of presidential powers are, what citizen’s united is, and who have never given a single dollar to any campaign or cause (except maybe the bra or the KKK) in their entire miserable worthless little lives.

    Maybe it’s a generalization, maybe even a caricature, but I think it’s a lot easier to raise money among the Bernie Folks than the Trump Cretins.

    • pywaket_1

      They know all about the Civil Rights Act, and are still pissed about it 50+ years later.

      Who are they buying “bra”s for? Those darn feminist bra burners, I guess 😉 I’m assuming you made a typo here and are refering to the NRA.

      Back in the days before email, I gave the NRA $2 once, just to get on their list and have them waste money sending me more pleas for money.

  • digger5

    Dear Mr. Trump, I will donate $1 as soon as you release five years of tax returns. And not just the summary.

  • DT wxrisk

    let me see how this would work…

    ” Dear Trump Supporters…. I am worth $10 Billion.. Will you please sent what you can to help my campaign ?..”

    sure this will work