Donald Trump is considering pouring $100 million into his campaign. Does he even have the cash? - 2020-09-09
In 2016, Trump pledged to spend $100 million on his campaign, but that never actually happened. He loaned his campaign roughly $47 million (and eventually forgave these debts). After making his wealth and ability to self fund his presidential run a central theme of his campaign—and claiming he alone among his Republican rivals would not be beholden to the megadonors who had Washington politicians in their pockets—Trump gladly accepted help from big contributors in the general election.
So far in 2020 Trump hasn't spent any of his own money on the race, but according to the New York Times, Trump's campaign may be running low on cash. Trump and the Republican National Committee have raised $1.1 billion for his reelection, but by the end of July they had spent more than $800 million (including on such pricey expenditures as an $11 million Super Bowl ad buy). Trump has yet to report his August fundraising numbers, but Democratic nominee Joe Biden had a monster haul last month—he raised more than $360 million, which is more than, say, John McCain spent on his entire 2008 campaign. Unless Trump's campaign matches that figure, Trump may find himself coming up short in the final stretch unless he digs into his own pockets.
But even wealthy businessmen sometimes don't have lots of cash on hand, and Trump may not be in a position to personally muster enough money to cover the gap he's facing against Biden. The last, best picture we have of Trump's assets comes from his most recent personal financial disclosure. It shows that at the end of 2019 Trump had anywhere between $46.7 million and $156.6 million available in checking or money-market accounts. Assuming Trump's cash reserves are near the top of that range, a $100 million loan would consume most of his available cash. Even a loan of $50 million might be a heavy lift. Trump does have a stock portfolio and plenty of properties he could sell, but most of those would be hard to convert to cash in a short period of time.