By Jason Lange, James Oliphant and Grant Smith
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign ramped up expenditure in June as the presidential race intensified, spending more than $50 million – about twice the amount spent the month before.
Trump’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 general election, Joe Biden, spent considerably less – about $37 million. The two campaigns finished the month with roughly the same amount of money in the bank – around $110 million each, according to disclosures filed on Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
Biden raised more money than Trump in June, $63.4 million to $55.2 million.
Trump’s campaign spent more than $41 million on television, digital and other advertisements as public opinion polls showed Biden increasingly building a significant lead, with voters expressing disapproval over Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and protests over racial injustice.
Those advertisements took shots at Biden over his age, 77, and his record on China. But the Democrat’s lead has steadily grown even as Trump increased his spending.
Biden led Trump among registered voters by 10 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted July 14-15.
While Trump’s campaign bought significant television air time across the country, Biden only launched his first major advertising blitz in the second half of June.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about legislation for additional coronavirus aid in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Still, Biden’s campaign dramatically increased his digital advertising spending in June to nearly $17 million from about $175,000 the month before.
Kevin Madden, a top aide to Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, said Trump’s ad juggernaut was having a hard time breaking through to voters.
“TV advertising is having a minimal effect on the state of the race right now,” Madden said. “There aren’t many ads that are going to alter voter perceptions when you have an economic crisis strapped to the back of a health care crisis impacting people’s lives every day.”
Reporting by Jason Lange and James Oliphant in Washington and by Grant Smith in New York; Editing by Michael Perry and Raju Gopalakrishnan.