Donald Trump has successfully branded himself as a populist this election – possibly making him the first populist with a butler (and a few billion in the bank to boot). It seems almost paradoxical, given how much Trump brags about his enormous net worth – but it’s all part of his strategy. If his wealth is out in the open – and a sense of pride- he can’t be attacked for it. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was hounded in 2012 for a net-worth of $250 million – which is pennies on the dollars relative to Trump’s.
The only difference between the candidates is that Mitt Romney tried to act like an “ordinary American,” when it came to his wealth, often appearing robotic in the process. A friend joked to me that if a blue-collar worker were to win the lottery, Donald Trump is exactly the kind of billionaire they’d be, and admittedly that explains his appeal to those with a lower socioeconomic status.
In fact, while the Republican Party has often fought accusations of being the party of the rich, that’s certainly not the case this election. Prominent billionaires speaking out against Trump such as Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet aren’t two lone billionaires. The billionaire vote will not be going towards their fellow billionaire this election.
As The Wall Street Journal reported: Two dozen billionaires have spent $88 million on the 2016 presidential campaign, bankrolling an election in which both major-party nominees have railed against the influence of money in politics.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has been the largest beneficiary of billionaires’ cash, with 19 of them donating a total of $70 million to her top allied super PAC, Priorities USA Action, according to the latest Federal Election Commission disclosure. Four billionaires have given $18 million to the set of super PACs backing Republican Donald Trump.
Including the billionaires, about 56 donors in both parties who wrote checks of $1 million or more have collectively given $200 million to outside groups backing both candidates. About 83% of those funds went to the pro-Clinton group, while 17% went to groups backing Mr. Trump.
And it’s not just the billionaires. Those on the higher-end of the income scale are backing Clinton across the board. As CNBC noted; While polling data on the rich is imprecise given their small population, polls of the top-earning households favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump two to one. The July Affluent Barometer survey by Ipsos found that among voters earning more than $100,000 a year — roughly the top 25 percent of households — 45 percent said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, while 28 percent planned to vote for Mr. Trump. The rest were undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.
The spread was even wider among the highest earners. For those earning $250,000 or more — roughly the top 5 percent of households — 53 percent planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton while 25 percent favored Mr. Trump. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus four points.
No wonder liberals have quieted down a bit this election on the subject of removing the influence of money in politics. Guess they don’t have any trouble paying
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]