NYT Compares Trump to Sanders, ‘Fueled by Small Donations’

Supporters reach out to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after a rally at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on August 3, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Washington, DC

Republican nominee Donald Trump drastically increased his fundraising numbers over the past two months, which were “fueled by small donations,” according to the New York Times, which compared Trump to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) success with grassroots supporters.

Trump announced new fundraising numbers on Tuesday that reveal the New Yorker — along with the Republican National Committee (RNC)  — made up major ground from the $1.3 million it had available in May, raising $64 million through mail and digital efforts in July.

The Republican nominee and his party raised $82 million over the past month. Clinton raised $90 million.

“The new figures indicate a major shift in Mr. Trump’s campaign, which until recent months was largely funded by hat and T-shirt sales and by Mr. Trump’s wallet,” the New York Times reports. “And they suggest that Mr. Trump has the potential to be the first Republican nominee whose campaign could be financed chiefly by grass-roots supporters pitching in $10 or $25 apiece, echoing the success of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the Democratic primary.”

According to the Times, the numbers suggest Trump is “marrying his powerful credibility among grass-roots Republicans with targeted small-donor fund-raising, particularly online, where Mr. Trump’s website features buttons soliciting $50, $25 and even $10 contributions.”

Comparing Trump’s $82 million raised last month to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s $19 million  raised in July of 2012, Trump fundraised roughly $63 million more.

The RNC prepared through its digital operation to target small donors through its email list. Trump — who funded his own primary campaign — sent out his first fundraising email in June, which raked in $3 million. He has also promised to personally match donations up to a certain amount.

“There was always that potential, but you didn’t have candidates who were as uniquely positioned in the same way that Trump is,” said Republican strategist and former digital fundraising staffer at the RNC Patrick Ruffini.