Everyone has an opinion on Real Estate Mogul and Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. Many people embrace his candor. Many Republican Party regulars find his style abrasive. Others say he is trying to buy the presidency.
THE BOTTOM LINE: This billionaire is currently taking the least expensive route to The White House.
Making his “straight from the hip” statements gathers Trump abundant free media coverage. His daily comings and goings as a candidate are slotted in the first third of newspaper, TV, and online coverage. How many of the 24 Million Viewers tuned in to the Fox News Network debate just to see what he would say and do? The skirmish between him and moderator Megyn Kelly has gathered almost as much coverage as all whole content of what others said.
Early political campaigning is more about energizing a base of voters and volunteers while creating name recognition. It isn’t hard to argue that Trump has masterfully done that. While other candidates may articulate more thoughtful positions, their presence on the stump just pales in contrast to the speaking style of The Don. Right now, he has us talking about the 2016 election a full fifteen months ahead of the actual election. Conventional campaign wisdom is that August is usually political dead time and that any serious campaigning starts right after Labor Day. Donald Trump has found a way to turn all this to his advantage.
Even billionaires know that political campaigns are not cheap. An article in Fortune outlined what it will cost to run a presidential campaign in 2016. The initial startup costs of staff, headquarters, research and more can cost as much as $10 Million dollars. Buying ads in the first several states costs major money. Some sources say that the cost to buy media in the first states will be $145 Million dollars. It is doubtful that Mr. Trump wants to write that check out of his own account. Name recognition and momentum will help greatly with fundraising. Anyone who has followed The Don over the past 30 years knows that getting his name out there is as much a trademark for Trump as any other aspect of his business. (For more information on 2016 election costs: http://fortune.com/2015/03/28/campaign-financing )
Many predictions say the 2016 Presidential campaign will exceed $5 Billion dollars by time votes are actually cast. While we don’t see him using coupons or putting a second mortgage on Mar-A-Lago anytime soon, Donald Trump is actually using a highly cost-effective strategy to campaign for president. Voters will have their chance in the ballot box to indicate whether or not they agree with his tactics and positions.