If you’ve spent time listening to virtually any cable news broadcast over the past week you could easily come to the conclusion that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is essentially over. He’s “deranged.” He can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes. He’s going to lose in a landslide of historic proportions. At any moment a rain of frogs or dead fish should begin falling from the sky over his next rally. But one story which didn’t get nearly as much press attention was the fact that, despite all of the gloom and doom, The Donald actually started racking up some campaign contributions and they were in the $80M dollar range last month.

Most of the cable news spokesmodels didn’t seem to notice, but Hillary Clinton’s team most assuredly did, and the alarm bells began going off. (Politico)

In an internal memo, first obtained by POLITICO, that will be circulated to high-level donors on Monday morning, campaign manager Robby Mook specifically writes that the Republican nominee’s July haul overshot the campaign’s expectations, necessitating a new wave of action.

“Donald Trump also had his best fundraising month of the campaign, raising $80 million,” explains Mook in the roughly 750-word missive — titled “Wake Up Call” — after trumpeting Clinton’s own $90 million haul between the campaign and other Democratic committees. “This was far more than anyone expected — and should be a wake-up call to all Hillary supporters. We must redouble our efforts in the coming weeks.”

Is this a case of genuine panic? Highly doubtful in my opinion. The reality of political campaigning is that virtually any headline with the slightest negative connotation is pretty much always an excuse to send out an “urgent” fundraising email seeking to capitalize on the news with any supporters who haven’t maxed out yet. But at the same time, there is some truth to the concerns being aired. Trump had initially claimed that he wouldn’t bother raising any money and would dip into his own resources if the need arose. True to form, he’s mostly relied on the media to do his advertising for him and he may have thought that would carry him to the finish line. That no doubt had the Democrats chuckling in private, figuring that they’d have a clear run to the finish line in terms of paid media time.

That may be changing. The media has done their predicted shift to attacking Trump even more viciously than the average GOP candidate on an hourly basis and The Donald will need to counter the daily narrative. So far I’ve been seeing mostly Hillary advertisements on the air when I’m in New York, Pennsylvania and DC, with the exceptions being some scattered Trump Super PAC videos. But if Trump is actually going to fight back he’s going to need half a billion dollars minimum over the next three months. That’s a steep hill to climb, but $80M isn’t a bad start. And if he does lay his hands on that sort of money the Clinton machine will need to adjust. If nothing else, Trump has their attention now and is pushing them to react rather than continuing their open field running pattern.

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