Fundraising, Trump Campaign — Lean, Nimble, Agile

Fundraising, Big Red Car? Really?

Big Red Car here on a glorious crisp day in the ATX — On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

[Somebody emailed me and told me that was an obnoxious way to open a blog post, so this one is for you, pal. You know who you are and I love you all the same. Get over your whiny, thin-skinned, defeated-liberal self and NO the popular vote is not the “thing.” Sheesh! Pay up on your bet, you deadbeat.]

Can a businessman run a more cost effective campaign than a politician?

The numbers are in and it appears to be the truth.

Let’s dig into the numbers — this is intended as a lesson for CEOs, not a political commentary.

Where is the money, Big Red Car?

The money sits in a few easily identifiable pots. The most recent available numbers are from late October, so they may change a little but not likely in their comparison.

 1. The CAMPAIGN, which is the big pot of money each candidate solicits directly.

 2. The Party and joint fundraising committees, wherein the candidate conducts fundraising in concert with the national party and the state parties. This money is shared amongst the participants though much of it goes to the candidate. The candidate is, after all, the headliner for such events. There is a lot of mischief afoot in these events as the rules are quite foggy and subject to enormous abuses. Contribution ceilings are much higher for such events than they are for direct contributions to the campaign. Something nobody pays attention to because neither party really wants to reform the obscenity of money in politics.

 3. SuperPACs — the supposedly independent entities which support candidates and issues but which are forbidden under the law from coordinating their efforts with either the candidate or the campaign — yeah, right! Have you ever thought about owning a bridge in Brooklyn? I can get you a deal on one.

The Campaigns — fundraising

The HRC Campaign directly raised $556MM — $556,000,000.

The DJT Campaign raised $248MM.

HRC outraised DJT by more than a hundred percent. Wow!

In addition, some $50M came from DJT personally and maybe as much as twice that number.

HRC smoked DJT at the Campaign level.

The Party, joint fundraising committees

HRC received $544MM from these events. [HRC had a much richer sharing ratio with the other co-sponsors. Almost all of the money raised went to her campaign.]

DJT received $487MM. [DJT had a much leaner sharing ratio with the other co-sponsors. He did not receive the same proportion of funds as HRC did.]

This must be considered in the light of two things:

 1. HRC had the DNC working hand in glove with her and was able to tap into an existing network created by her husband, Horny, and the Obama campaigns to say nothing of the wholesale championing of her campaign by the DNC.

 2. The Donald was new at this stuff and had no organization foundation from which to launch these events. He also had the active opposition of the #NeverTrump crowd and the GOPe (the traitors like the Bushes, Romney, Sen Flake, Sen Sasse), reluctant donors poisoned by the aforementioned scoundrels, and opposing candidates who failed to meet their pledge to support their party’s candidate. Bit of an uphill slog to be sure.

Still, Trump — a showman — did, comparatively, very well. Next time around, he will crush this segment of the fundraising pie. Still, advantage HRC.

The SuperPACs — fundraising

HRC SuperPACs raised $188MM.

DJT SuperPACs raised $60MM.

HRC smoked DJT in the SuperPAC arena. A more than three times barbed wire enema.

HRC had the advantage of some of the SuperPACs having been formed to support President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Continuity in fundraising is a lovely thing.

Complications — fundraising

The Republicans typically rely upon the largesse of some high net worth donors — the Evil Koch Brothers, as an example, who when they are not wintering over in Hell are reliable SuperPAC donors — to fill the campaign coffers of their candidate. This year, that did not materialize.

This is one area in which the GOPe did, effectively, punish The Donald. And in so doing, they have defeated themselves. They have destroyed whatever influence they might have had.

DJT will have Mitt over for a chat, but he is really just showing the public his magnanimous nature and the fact that Mitt Romney will come to him to genuflect, apologize, and kiss his ring. Winning cures a lot of problems.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

Here’s the big takeaway:

 1. HRC whipped DJT at the alms plate. She outraised him handily. DJT, however, won the election which suggests that the spending of the money is more important than the raising of the money though DJT was no slouch when it came to raising money.

 2. The staggering importance of DJT’s earned media — the free mentions on the news and on social media — will continue to be studied and it will be an interesting exercise to try to convert this into some level of investment. Convert it to numbers. What was it worth?

 3. HRC received an equally powerful push from the MSM, the lesser media, the punditry, the pollsters — all of whom acted like HRC campaign functionaries with their direct assistance (sending her debate questions, dropping stories by for editing, coordinating articles with travel plans, ugh) and their relentless pounding of DJT. What was that all worth?

If a media outlet prints a story which is hysterically critical of DJT is it not the same as the HRC campaign itself running an ad? In monetary terms what was this worth?

In spite of all of this, DJT won because he understood the market better — the guy won the Rust Belt, where no Republican had been able to make a dent in decades. This was a Democrat stronghold with the unions providing a deep root and control of many votes. DJT went into the lion’s den and came back with its teeth. Salute!

One more time, BRC, what did we learn?

DJT ran a comparatively less grandiose campaign on a much tighter budget and won. Was he lean, nimble, agile on purpose? By accident? Forced upon him by the realities of the fundraising?

Was it his personal hustle and hard work? DJT is a hustler par excellence and, arguably, HRC spent a lot of time on the couch.

Look at where DJT spent time and see where he won. HRC did not go to the Rust Belt and guess what? The Rust Belt did not vote for her. Hmmmm. Is it really that easy and obvious? Occam’s Razor, y’all?

CEOs of young companies need to consider this learning carefully. DJT knocked off a better funded opponent — with the power of the White House on her side as well as the MSM, the lesser media, the punditry, the pollsters. How?

Think about this and see what you can learn from it? Better product?

Noboby will ever really know though the same discredited MSM, et al, will spend the next year ‘splaining it to us. [Why does anyone listen to people who got it all so hopelessly wrong? It was the anger from 2014. They all missed it.]

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car! Be good to yourself and it’s only a few days until the Trump administration takes root. Say a prayer for yourself, your loved ones, the new President.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png


3 thoughts on “Fundraising, Trump Campaign — Lean, Nimble, Agile

    • One campaign raised a jillion more dollar but the other won. How?

      I don’t see how HRC got nearly as many votes and states as she did.

      HRC got nearly all her electoral votes in the Northeast Corridor and the West Coast — why there, I don’t know. Yes, standard of living is higher, but why that would be so important I don’t understand.

      The biggest reason I can see is that Trump scared a lot of people. That is, those people were fully convinced that Trump is a can do guy and, unlike all the “all talk; no action” politicians, would, horrors!, actually DO a lot of things. So, they saw Trump as making a big omelet and, then, became unsure just how many and what eggs he would break.

      IIRC there was a Gingrich remark with some of (1)-(5) below:

      (1) In the current economy, some people, e.g., a lot of what is left in the middle class, believe that they are doing okay. E.g., they are making money, and the interest rates on their house, credit cards, new car, maybe boat and vacation home, are low. The economy, while weak in most ways, is changing only relatively slowly and, thus, is relatively stable. They looked at Trump and were afraid his changes would make things not a lot better but maybe worse, that is, they saw Trump as not a lot of up side but maybe a lot of down side.

      (2) Some people are in deep financial trouble and making use of welfare and were afraid that Trump and the “conservatives” would cut the welfare spending.

      (3) Some people actually like the HRC corruption. So, they are sure that HRC is for sale so that just by moving some cash around they can get any favors they want. They like the idea of the new version of slavery — an identifiable, laboring underclass. And they like the cheap imported products that result from the huge US foreign trade deficits.

      (4) Some people are just traditional, dyed in the wool Democrats, e.g, yellow dog Democrats — would vote Democrat even if they ran a yellow dog.

      (5) A lot of people are pissed off at the Republicans because of, say, Cheney and Gulf War II and the brutal, selfish sounding far right, traditional conservative Republicans.

      While (1)-(5) might seem okay as explanations, they seems to conflict with the amazing progress of the Republicans for all the other elected offices from the US Congress down to local dog catcher.

      One campaign raised a jillion more dollar but the other won. How?

      In simple terms, Hillary ran a poor campaign. How?

      First, apparently her main idea of the campaign was just too darned simple, even simplistic. So her idea was, in just four parts, (1) raise big bucks from her big donors, (2) spend the big bucks on ads on the media, especially the mainstream media (MSM), especially TV, (3) from the ad spending or whatever else, in effect buy off the MSM and make it a propaganda arm of her campaign, and (4) believe the polls and pundits that claimed that she was way ahead. Otherwise, mostly she would rest.

      But, why would anyone with big bucks be so eager to give so much money to HRC? Looks like putting money on a sick nag to me.

      Why would HRC believe that just flooding the TV ad slots would work so well? Didn’t she understand that US TV watchers have a lot of resistance to ads? Moreover, with so many TV ads, the voters could smell some desperation and an attempt to buy the election.

      Why would HRC believe that the MSM could be bought off so easily and thoroughly? The MSM bias for HRC has been historic, close to a fatal mistake and nail in the coffins of the MSM.

      Broadly, the MSM, while thoroughly bought off, was not very convincing. Apparently it is real just to say that it is the “failing” MSM. We have to conclude that in the end, each of the publications, pundits, reporters, etc. was just not very credible or convincing.

      Second, HRC was not so good at counting electoral votes. For Trump to win so much of the Rust Belt was a threat just sitting there. Supposedly Bill Clinton saw the threat, but HRC didn’t, until way too late. Then she had some rallies with 200-300 people when Trump was drawing 30,000, several times a day. Dumb.

      This was a case where Trump had a “winning personality” and HRC didn’t. For all the bitterness, etc. that seems to indicate that HRC has a lot of drive, in reality she was not good at really putting the rubber on the road, getting it done.

      In contrast, Trump is highly determined, full of energy, really good at how to win, and really smart about strategy and tactics. It was a little like a winning basketball team where the players were better, cared more and tried harder, and had a better coach who also cared more, tried harder, and was smarter.

      For Trump being smart, IIRC one of the campaign staffers explained that their internal polling was accurate to 4-5 digits — nearly unheard of; can’t do that with just usual polling techniques and have to use other, more direct techniques, maybe almost voter by voter — and so accurate they knew, for each swing state, rally by rally and hour by hour, where they stood and that they were ahead. That Trump got such high end staff work says that he’s a darned smart project leader.

      Third, while HRC had a lot of policy stuff on her Web site, no one could believe any of that stuff as real or meaningful, in part because HRC said next to nothing about it in her oral statements. Really, HRC message as actually delivered was not very good.

      Next, on message, HRC did not diligently and effectively target her message, day by day, rally by rally.

      In contrast, Trump, at each rally, got Perot’s “finger tip feel” for what the audiences liked best and, so, did good message targeting.

      The Big Red Car ‘splains it. Or does he?

      So far I have yet to see how HRC got more than 10% of the vote.

      To me, HRC is really nasty, a flagrant, shameless, guiltless liar, a seriously bad and guilty criminal, and a disaster in both US foreign policy and US national security. Otherwise she is in serious trouble between her ears, e.g., just is not able to think clearly, has some OCD and psychopathic problems, and is seriously mixed up. To me HRC is so bad she is a threat to the US as we know it and the best of its history so far. E.g., she would in effect destroy the SCOTUS and the Constitution; about the only hope would be the, IIRC, McCain comment that any HRC SCOTUS nomination would be dead on arrival. In foreign and defense policy, HRC would be a big bet to start nuke WWIII.

      That 40+% of the voters were so eager to vote for HRC tells me that the US is far too vulnerable to fall for another HRC some time in the next few POTUS elections and have the US end and the rest of the world in full nuke WWIII. Bummer.

      I’m reminded that the US is

      A republic if you can keep it.

      At this point, lacking some extraordinary figure, e.g., Trump, to save the US, I believe that the US is too vulnerable to another HRC and can’t “keep it”.

      There are a lot of really good people in the US; that HRC ran, was nominated, and actually won the popular vote is just inexplicable to me. I mean, who the hell would ever hire HRC for anything? In simple terms, HRC has gotten rich by smiling and lying at the same time. And if one would not hire her even to sweep the sidewalks, then how in HELL were so many people so eager to hire her for POTUS?

      There is a lesson in this for startup CEOs. Find it.

      Hillary showed how far someone can go by doing well at networking, being for sale, fooling a lot of the people a lot of the time, often with something as simple as just a lie and a smile, and being good at avoiding being a defendant in court.

      But in the end she lost.

      For a lesson that won, Trump’s staff that had private polling data accurate to 4-5 digits was a HUGE biggie because it said day by day and even hour by hour, where to land the Trump plane next and what to say to that audience. So, call that better market intel. And call that from better analytics, i.e., applied math.

      Otherwise, Trump was a darned good project leader. He didn’t get everything polished and perfect at first, but he had his people improve enough over time. In the end, he got some darned good work done, e.g., just in event scheduling, staffing, provisioning, etc. — on short notice, for a LOT of events, e.g., 7 a day.

      Sure, common advice for a project leader is to listen carefully to some smart people and, then, divide the work into relatively coherent and independent pieces, for each piece, pick a good leader, make clear to that leader what needs to be done and some boundaries and constraints on their freedom, let that leader get the work done, and have a means to track the work, quality, on-time, on-budget, and make corrections as necessary. Sure. Easy to say. Tough to do. Apparently Trump has become just darned good at doing it.

      One of the best laughs in the campaign was the Leslie Stahl remark on the CBS 60 Minutes ASAP after the election that the POTUS salary was $400,000 a year. Trump didn’t even know the figure. Ms. Stahl seemed to think that the $400,000 was a lot of money and that even Trump should know about it.

      Sorry, Leslie! I looked up what operating a Boeing 757 costs, IIRC, with fuel, ballpark $10,800 per hour. So, the $400,000 likely would have covered less than the 757 cost for just the last week of the campaign.

      Leslie, we’re not planning a front yard lemonade stand. Instead, we’re picking the most powerful person in the world. Let’s get real, Leslie.

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