Trump didn't invest more in campaign despite tightening race

Story highlights

  • Trump has repeatedly said he would contribute more than $100 million to his campaign by the end
  • To back up that statement, he would now have to contribute more than $40 million

(CNN)Donald Trump cut his routine $2 million monthly check to his campaign last September after repeatedly suggesting that he would increase his donations during the campaign's stretch run.

Trump's campaign, along with Republican joint fundraising committees, said it raised $100 million last month, more than it has in any previous month though well short of the $154 million Hillary Clinton's operation took in.
    But Trump -- who largely closed a polling gap with Clinton during much of September -- did not give more to his campaign than he had in previous months despite being pressured to invest more of his fortune.
    His campaign did not specify how much of the money was raised by his campaign versus the committees, which must split proceeds with the Republican National Committee and more than 20 state parties.
    Meanwhile, a new fundraising report filed Saturday night found few Republican heavyweight donors cut major checks to Trump's campaign during the summer months.
    Trump Victory, his high-dollar fundraising group, raised $61.3 million for Trump's campaign and the Republican Party between July and September. And very few of the GOP's most prominent financial backeres can be found listed on the report, a concrete sign of just how much the GOP's donor class has spurned him.
    Some Republican billionaires did pony up: The most generous GOP donor in the country, Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, donated $10 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, Future45, in September, $5 million more than had been expected. The group — expected to be one of the leading Trump advertisers in television during the homestretch — raised a total of $12.3 million, thanks to smaller donations from GOP megadonors Joe Ricketts and Joe Craft.
    A second Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now, posted disappointing totals, but revealed a few more GOP donors willing to cut checks. The group — which has repeatedly claimed massive amount in pledges from donors — raised only $18 million between July and September. Almost two-thirds of that money came from two well-known Trump financiers: Bernie Marcus, the founder of Home Depot, who gave the super PAC $5 million, and Linda McMahon, the former Senate candidate in Connecticut, who gave the group $6 million.

    Trailing Clinton in cash

    Trump entered the final month of the campaign trailing Clinton in the cash race by $75 million, a wider margin than he trailed at the end of August. His campaign and committees said they had $75 million on hand as of September 30; Clinton's campaign and committees claimed $152 million.
    The Trump and Clinton campaigns will offer a more precise description of their financial position when they file monthly reports with the Federal Election Commission next week.
    Trump's ability to raise money online has largely made up for his poor relationship with traditional Republican high-dollar donors, who have largely spurned him for the entire campaign, though he did win a few marquee names over in the month of September. And the campaign on Saturday attributed Trump's haul to those low-dollar givers.
    Shortly after he became the GOP nominee, Trump slowed down his contributions to his campaign to typically $2 million a month after having spent more during his primary campaign.
    But at rallies and fundraisers in recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly said he would contribute more than $100 million to his campaign by the end, leading to speculation that he had handed over a major gift during September. For Trump's statement to become true, he would now have to contribute more than $40 million during the final five weeks of the general election.
    "I have developed some tremendous friendships," Trump joked at a Dallas fundraiser earlier this month. "I'm going to have to spend $100 million to do that."
    One other committee posting its report Saturday: the Paul Ryan-backing Congressional Leadership Fund, which reported a historic haul of $31 million thanks to $20 million from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.