Wednesday, August 7, 2019

JOUR107.1001---Biden vs Trump Campaigns; Industries, Demographics, Donors--OPEN SECRETS EXPOSED

J. L'Angelle
Univ of Nevada, Reno
Fall 2019

     (EOC/HQ)--Criticism over a candidate manager's release of top donors for a particular 2020 campaign are absurd (Entralgo, Think Progress) as most of the data is available at sites that monitor Federal Election Committee (FEC) data, and readily available to the public. One such reliable site is Open Secrets related to the Washington, DC firm "The Center for Responsive Politics" (

     Two leading candidates' election financial profiles, challenger VP Joe Biden (D) and incumbent President Donald Trump (R) can be examined through any number of variables at the site, many of which give real insight to not just the candidate, but the contributors as well. From appearances, Biden will probably maintain his lead in the horse race that is the Democratic ticket, currently populated with a variety of contenders. If it's money that will separate the winner, then Biden appears to be the horse most likely to succeed, unless there's an unseen emerging Trojan.

     Open Secrets bio of Joe Biden is as follows;
     "Joe Biden is the former United States vice president under Pres. Barack Obama. During his time as vice president, Biden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also became a favorite subject of comedic internet memes. Before being elected to the vice presidency, Biden served as a senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009."
     Campaign finance information is broken down into four main categories: Geography, Industries, Contributors and Demographics. Note that VP Biden's main geographic contributors are New York, Los Angeles and DC. The actual donor demographics for Biden are currently unavailable but looking at previous information, it shows that male contributors outranked female donors by nearly 3 to 1. (Biden 2008)

The prevalent ratio throughout appears to be gender related, with men contributing far more than women for the top contenders. The also rans, the women in the current 2020 cycle, may have different ratios. As for industries, the lawyers and law firms far outspend any of the other categories listed in support of Joe at $2.1M thus far, exceeding the runner up, retired at $1.5M.(Joe, Industries) Top law firm individuals are Morgan & Morgan and Paul, Weiss.

     As for the incumbent, President Trump, his Open Secrets bio reads;
     "Billionaire real estate developer, businessman and television personality Donald Trump — who had never held public office — flirted with the idea of running for president for decades before jumping into the 2016 race. After running an unconventional and underfunded campaign in 2016 but receiving free media attention valued at about $5 billion, Trump’s reelection campaign looks to be flush with cash. Having declared his 2020 bid the day he took office, Trump has drawn unprecedented fundraising hauls, attracting both large and small donors."
     The President's main geographic contributors are in the metro areas of Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. Los Angeles? That's in that place President Trump called a "disgrace" in a rally last week in Cincinnati. (ABC)

     Surprising is the "Industry" that is the top contributor to Trump 2020; "Retired." The amount ponied up by the formerly employed add up currently close to $12M with the next nearest category, "Real Estate," a cheap $1.4M. (Trump, Retired) Obviously the President is a big hit with all the old fogies out on the golf course at Torrey Pines. The gender ratio again reveals about the same for the President as for the VP,  63 percent men and 34 percent women. (Trump, Gender)

     Most revealing is current spending by the two main players. VP Biden has thus far squeezed a combined Campaign Committee-Outside Group total of $24M and spent $13M, or 54 percent. (Biden, Cash) Right now, the fact that there are so many candidates in the race for the Democratic ticket, cash is relatively scarce for all of them and most of their emails to would-be donors are designed to soak small donations from just about everybody. The emails are pretty much "message delivery failures" on the issues themselves.

     By contrast, through a number of official and self-organized groups, President Trump has raised $150M already, but his campaign has spent $112M, or nearly three out of every four dollars it has been given. (Trump, Cash)

     That hardly appears to be any indication at all of a "conservative" and it also indicates that Joe expects to fight a long battle with very few assets against the President.
     The turning point in the campaign for the two top horses in the race may not be the home stretch, as the incumbent usually has the advantage and the bets increase for him as they approach the finish line. The best hope for Joe is that he convinces the other horses to get out of the race as soon as possible so that cash can flow to his campaign.
     Joe also has a problem with women, not just as rival contenders, but recent allegations about inappropriate conduct. In order to increase his cash flow, he needs to get the ladies to back him up, and not just as runner ups to the men putting up cash, but on an equal percentage footing. Joe might also hope that funding for the President will dry up and the incumbent will overspend thinking the main challenger is a viable contender, which, in fact, he is. That's the reason the political language is directed more on the opponent than on the issues. Joe would do well to stay away from that horse race.

     This Just In: So what's Joe doing in Iowa today, exactly what he shouldn't be, "fanning the flames" of his defeat, under a headline in Associated Press by Steve Peoples and Bill Barrow that reads, "Trump fanning the flames of white supremacy;"
     "BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Joe Biden on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump of '
'fanning the flames of white supremacy' in his most aggressive attack yet on the character of the man he would like to defeat in 2020.
'Trump offers no moral leadership,' Biden declared in Burlington, Iowa. The president 'seems to have no interest in unifying the nation.' " (Peoples, Barrow, AP)
The more the challenger attacks and undermines his opponent, the more it shows his lack of an agenda; with the few dollars he has to run a campaign, he needs to make every appearance count.

     This Also Just In: The Trump campaign is taking heat for its Facebook ads calling the illegal immigrant situation an "invasion"  as reported on national media;
     " 'The Trump campaign has run hundreds of thousands of Facebook ads on many topics, including illegal immigration,' Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtough told ABC News when asked about the ads. 'By objecting to an accurate description of the situation, Democrats and the media are trying to make it impossible to oppose illegal immigration without being called racist.' ” (ABC)
According to the article, 2000 ads featured the word out of  over 240,000; at a total cost of $14.5M across FB and GOOG, from the end of last year to the present.

Works Cited
Entralgo, R., Absurd,
Open Secrets,
Biden 2008 donors,
Joe, Industries,
"Disgrace, "
Trump, Retired,
Trump, Gender,
Biden, Cash,
Trump, Cash,
Peoples, S., Barrow, B.,