Donald Trump is going to start the general election campaign in a massive financial hole against Hillary, and it is only likely to get worse. As of the end of April, the combined Trump forces (his own campaign’s paltry fundraising plus RNC Victory fund) are over $200 million behind Hillary’s campaign operation.
The end result of this massive disparity is that Hillary has more than ten times more campaign staff than Trump does, and a huge advantage in terms of ground game operation. And that’s a problem that’s likely to get worse, because Trump’s pitch to donors in his early fundraising tool has been absolutely insane:
A source in the room for the meetings at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel told NBC that Trump spoke to the room “about how he did [in the primaries] and what he thinks of the general, thus far.” The source, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity in order to talk more freely about the meeting, added that Trump made a general election pitch based on broadening the electoral map come November.
Paraphrasing what Trump told the room, the source says Trump listed California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey (calling out, “Right, Chris?!” to hammer the point home), and “maybe even Maryland” as states that he could put in play. On the trail, Trump has made this point before, saying that he plans to target and play hard in traditionally blue states, like New York and California, though polling in those states shows an uphill battle for Trump.
Depending on which poll you believe, Trump is trailing Clinton by 15-25% in California, over 20 points in New York, and 15 points in Jersey. These are, furthermore, three of the most expensive states in the whole union to contest, with massively expensive media markets. Republican donors are not going to want to fork over perfectly good money only to watch Trump and his loons fritter it away on a futile challenge to win three hopeleess contests in expensive states. Expect Trump’s money problems to get worse, not better, as this campaign goes on.