For the 2016 presidential campaign including the primary, as of July 21, 2016, Republicans raised 237.1 million dollars more than democrats (840.1 million Vs 603.1 million). Sure, some of the difference in fundraising is due to the sheer number of republican candidates during the primary season.
But, when you breakdown the monies raised by each party between money raised by the PACS and the money raised by the candidates campaign, there is a startling difference between the democrats and republicans (see Figure below).
A few things are worth noting.
(1) For every dollar raised by the PACs, democratic candidate campaigns brought in 4.6 dollars, and the republican candidate campaigns brought in an anemic 0.79 dollars. In other words, until now in this campaign, Republicans have relied heavily on PAC money, and Democrats have relied heavily on Candidate fundraising.
(2) Obviously, some of the glaring discrepancy between the parties is due to Bernie Sanders who had no PAC money. So, all of the PAC money on the democratic side went to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Even discounting the Bernie’s fundraising, Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised nearly 2.4 dollars for every dollar raised by PACs supporting her – a ratio that was better than most republican candidates who ran in the primary. So, Democrats have been far more willing to put money down than republicans in this cycle.
(3) PACs that supported republican candidates during the primary, are NOT supporting Trump for the general election. This might prove to be decisive. In fact, PACs supporting Clinton have outraised PACs supporting Trump by 10 to 1. Without PAC money coming in, Trump has to rely mostly on money from campaign fundraising. This might explain all the urgent fundraising emails sent all over the place including to foreign nationals (their contributions would be illegal).
Without money from Super PACS and without an established political network of donors who can be counted on to donate again and again, Trump has a significant fundraising problem. Trump has to rely on generating saturation media coverage on a daily basis by making outrageous statements. Unfortunately, such statements, while may help Trump to dominate the news cycle, also hurt him by turning off general-election voters. That is a structural problem that Trump has, and there is no easy way out.