June Fundraising: Clinton Still Ahead, but Trump's Operation Kicks Into Gear

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the opening session of the Western Conservative Summit, July 1, 2016, in Denver.PlayDavid Zalubowski/AP Photo
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Hillary Clinton is still leading Donald Trump when it comes to fundraising, according to claims by each campaign, but Trump’s money operation is showing signs of life.

The campaigns have not yet filed their latest mandatory campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission, but each announced fundraising totals for June, as is common once campaigns finish counting their checks at the end of each month. Official reports aren't due until the 20th of each month.

The unofficial totals reveal a strong showing for Clinton, but they also reflect a marked improvement for Trump, whose first full month of active fundraising yielded significantly better results after the self-funder's paltry showing in May.

Clinton’s campaign announced a haul of $68.5 million in June. That includes $40.5 million to her campaign and $28 million to a joint fundraising committee, which distributes money to the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties. Due to much smaller contribution limits, her campaign will only keep part of that latter chunk, but the DNC and state parties can use it to help her.

Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, announced a haul of $55 million, after his string of joint Republican National Committee fundraisers that began in May. The total includes some money from Trump himself -- and some donations from the last week of May. It includes $19.9 million in donations to his campaign, $25 million to his main joint fundraising committee with the RNC, $6.6 million to another joint committee and $3.8 million from Trump himself. Without Trump’s contributions, the total is $51 million, the campaign said.

After self-funding his primary campaign, Trump had no fundraising operation to speak of. He began to build up that operation in May, holding a string of joint fundraisers with the RNC and naming his national fundraising leaders -- something Clinton had done more than a year earlier.

That lack of effort left Trump with a historically low fundraising total in May: just $3.1 million in actual donations, an almost unheard of monetary dearth for a presidential candidate that put him on track to raise less money than any major-party nominee since Al Gore's 2000 bid, when candidates typically accepted public funding and spent much less on their campaigns.

Historically, Trump's June total compares respectably as a month of presidential fundraising. Trump's haul appears to be padded with some donations from the end of May, as noted in his campaign's announcement, but if it were all raised in a single month, it would stack up respectably next to recent candidates' June totals for their campaigns and joint committees: John McCain raised $40 million in 2008, and then-Sen. Barack Obama raised $59 million in the same month.

Still, Trump has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to campaign money. He entered June with $1.3 million in his campaign's coffers, compared to Clinton's $42.5 million.

Clinton’s total is a good one, historically. It tops Obama’s June 2012 numbers ($64.2 million), but fell short of a massive total ($92.6 million) reported by Mitt Romney in the same month, thanks to an influx to his joint account with the RNC.