And suddenly Trump is ahead again


Lerato Khumalo

Despite two convictions against him, Donald Trump is collecting more donations than Joe Biden. This could be the deciding factor in the swing states.

In the race for the US presidency, challenger Donald Trump has overtaken incumbent Joe Biden in terms of donations – and with a bulging war chest, he can place more advertising in the particularly contested states, the so-called swing states. According to the American Election Commission FEC, the Trump team was able to collect more donations than Biden supporters in both April and May.

In April, Trump fans pumped 76 million US dollars into the campaign coffers despite (or because of) the verdict in the hush money trial. And in May, when Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of fraud, his team, the Republicans and supporters collected almost 170 million dollars. About 50 million dollars are said to have been received directly after the verdict, reported the US magazine “Newsweek”.

Biden, on the other hand, received $51 million in April and $85 million in May. While he was ahead of Trump at the beginning of the year, the US president now has to watch as Trump can launch massive advertising campaigns. According to a report in the Washington Post, the Trump-supporting Super Pac Maga Inc. plans to spend $100 million on commercials by September. According to information from the New York Times, the Trump team plans to spend $30 million on advertising in the particularly contested states of Pennsylvania and Georgia alone.

The swing states are likely to become the battleground for the advertising spots. Biden supporters are said to have already allocated a budget of $35 million in the three most contested states, while Trump has so far only placed advertising worth $60,000 there.

But Trump need not worry about that. While Biden is slightly ahead in an overall poll conducted by FiveThirtyEight, Trump is leading in many swing states. The polls in the states that are most contested in elections indicate that the Republicans will receive more than 270 electoral votes and win the election. On Saturday, Trump announced at a campaign event that he had chosen his candidate for vice president – but did not name a name.

Since polls are only a snapshot and the two candidates are very close together, the massive advertising expenditure is probably justified. But it is probably less about debates on political issues. Grant Reeher, professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, suspects a different strategy in an interview with Newsweek.

He believes the Trump campaign’s advertising push will help maintain “enthusiasm and commitment to the election” among those already inclined to support the former president, rather than trying to persuade those who are still undecided.

The Biden team is optimistic: Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told the US magazine “The money we continue to raise is important and helps the campaign reach and win over the voters who will decide this election – a stark contrast to Trump’s PR stunts and photo ops that he passes off as a campaign.”