Hillary Clinton keeps fundraising edge over Donald Trump in August

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Hillary Clinton continued to out-fundraise Donald Trump by significant sums in August, although the GOP nominee has seen some success through a more traditional fundraising operation that has managed to best Clinton's in terms of bringing in more small donations.

Clinton reported raising nearly $60 million in August, ending the month with more than $68 million in the bank after spending nearly $50 million, according to her monthly filing.

Her record month – spurred in part by a weekslong dash in which she crisscrossed the country to attend more than 30 high-dollar fundraisers – was fueled by $18 million in donations exceeding $200 and $31.4 million pulled in from her joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee.

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U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds a model of her newly unveiled campaign plane before boarding for the first time at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks at a model of her newly unveiled campaign plane before boarding for the first time at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton boards her newly unveiled campaign plane at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks through her newly unveiled campaign plane at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets members of the news media on her newly unveiled campaign plane at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A new campaign plane for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sits on the tarmac at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Clinton will travel to Cleveland and Illinois for Labor Day events. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A new campaign plane for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sits on the tarmac at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Clinton will travel to Cleveland and Illinois for Labor Day events. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign plane's wing is seen while flying from Florida to New York after a day of campaigning September 6, 2016. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's plane's wing is seen as it approaches Westchester County Airport September 6, 2016 in White Plains, New York after campaigning in Florida. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WHITE PLAINS, NY - Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets crew and staff on the tarmac before boarding her new 2016 campaign plane at the Westchester Airport in White Plains, New York on Monday September 5, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Trump, meanwhile, trailed Clinton's overall total with $41.7 million, about half of which came from his joint fundraising venture with the Republican National Committee. He ended the month with $50 million in cash on hand after spending almost $30 million.

But Trump outstripped Clinton in one key category: He brought in $12 million, compared with Clinton's $8.4 million, in small-dollar donations – a sign his campaign has caught fire among grass-roots Republicans despite failing to gain traction among big-dollar donors who typically give to GOP causes.

Trump also gave his campaign another $2 million in August, bringing his general election contributions to $6.5 million and his self-funding total to $54 million since last year.

Clinton has given personally to her campaign as well, although at far lower amounts than her opponent. In August, she contributed $80,340, bringing her personal contribution for the election to $1.2 million.

The candidates also demonstrated vastly different priorities in how they spent in August.

As has been the case throughout the election, Clinton spent heavily on advertising, laying down a total of $33 million on television time. She had run 35,714 spots on broadcast channels in 11 key swing states through August, according to Kantar Media.

Trump has ramped up his presence on the airwaves somewhat, going from spending almost nothing to shelling out $5.2 million in August and running 7,457 broadcast television ads in five states through the month.

Clinton's operation is more than six times the size of Trump's, with a paid staff of 800 employees that come at a monthly cost of $5 million. Trump employs about 130 people, with another 100 or so working as paid consultants.

By far, Trump's largest August expense was an $11 million sum paid to the Texas-based digital consulting firm Giles-Parscale.

He paid the firm of Corey Lewandowski, his controversial former campaign manager $20,000 – the same as in previous months before Lewandowski was fired and took a contributing role at CNN.

Clinton also has significantly more help coming in from the outside. Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting her campaign, spent $20.6 million in August and brought in $23.4 million.

By comparison, the Trump-aligned Great America PAC spent just $2.6 million.

However, the Chicago Cubs-owning Ricketts family and billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson – who have been resistant to Trump – seem to be coming around, reportedly committing $1 million and $5 million, respectively, in recent days to the GOP super PAC Future 45.

Despite the disparity in spending and organization, Clinton's lead over Trump shrank over the last month and is down to just over 1 point in RealClearPolitics' average of polls.

But Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, in a note to supporters this week, expressed confidence the campaign's work would pay off on Nov. 8.

"Battleground states carry that name for a reason: They're going to be close, from now until Election Day," Mook said. "But we are going to win them because we've spent the past year building a superior ground game to communicate our message and turn our people out to vote."

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report


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