If Hillary Clinton loses in November, it won’t be for lack of money.
The Clinton campaign announced on Thursday that the Democratic nominee raised a total of $143 million in August for her campaign and the national and state Democratic parties. Those accounts begin September with a combined $152 million in the bank.
By any measure, that is an enormous amount of cash. Her haul in August is more than 50 percent higher than both the total that Clinton raised in July and that President Obama, himself a prodigious fundraiser, collected during the same period four years ago. It also all but ensures that Clinton will maintain her considerable money advantage over Donald Trump, who began far behind after not mounting a traditional fundraising operation during the Republican primaries. Trump, who collected $82 million for his campaign and the GOP during a strong showing in July, has not released his numbers for August. Clinton has now raised more than $400 million during her presidential run.
What may be most significant about Clinton’s total, however, is not the $62 million she raised for her own campaign but the $81 million she took in for the Democratic National Committee and state parties. That portion dwarfs what Obama and Mitt Romney raised for their parties during this period four years ago. And it signals an aggressive effort by Clinton to extend her coattails far down the ballot as Democrats try to take back control of Congress, governorships, and state legislative chambers that they lost during the Obama era.
“Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric continues to drive voters away from him and the Republican Party and has created new opportunities for Democrats up and down the ticket,” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “These resources will help us to register and turnout millions of voters to elect progressive candidates across the country.”
Money for the state parties typically goes to turnout operations on the ground, adding to the advantage that Democrats have over Trump, who has opened relatively few field offices and is relying heavily on the organizing efforts of the Republican National Committee. Clinton is dominating Trump in the number of television ads she’s run, and her early fundraising strength allowed her to reserve air time for the fall at lower rates than Trump will be able to get in the campaign’s final stretch.
Riding a wave of strong poll numbers after the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Clinton devoted a big part of the month to fundraising. She held fewer campaign events than Trump and attended dozens of high-dollar events. Her campaign said more than 2.7 million people have now contributed to her bid, but the focus on big-money donors has raised the average contribution to $50—nearly twice the $27 average that Bernie Sanders famously boasted about during his primary run. If the goal was simply to bring in a lot of cash, however, Clinton’s announcement on Thursday suggests her August fundraising push paid off.