Exactly how much does it cost to lose a presidential election by 74 electoral votes? For failed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the price for failure was a record-setting $1.2 billion.
Post-election campaign finance records show Clinton bulldozed through a staggering $131.8 million in just the final two weeks of the 2016 contest.
“When the powerful can get away with anything because they have the money and the connections to rig the system, then the people lose hope and confidence in the future of their country.”
Clinton and her camp could only watch in disbelief as now-President-Elect Donald Trump sailed past her to victory after spending a comparatively measly $600 million in total.
“There’s no reason to raise that,” Trump told Bloomberg in June when he was asked about Clinton’s $1 billion fundraising goal. “I just don’t think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity. I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them.”
As it turned out, Trump was correct about not needing a $1 billion to wrest the presidential victory from Clinton. Spending $94.5 million during the home stretch of the election season, Trump finished with $7.6 million left over. From his own pocket, Trump contributed $66 million to his presidential campaign, which fell short of the $100 million he initially estimated he would need to spend personally.
Throughout her campaign, Clinton enjoyed lopsided support from wealthy donors and Wall Street insiders. Politico reported in October that Clinton had amassed over 1,100 large-scale donors who contributed $100,000 or more each to her presidential campaign or affiliated super PACs.
That number proved to be nearly the double of any other presidential candidate in American history.
But all those donors representing a myriad of special interests could not sway the election in their favor.
"When the powerful can get away with anything because they have the money and the connections to rig the system, then the people lose hope and confidence in the future of their country," Trump said during a campaign speech in late October. "We are fighting for every citizen who believes that government should serve the people — not the donors and the special interests."
Last Modified: December 12, 2016, 7:24 am