Business as Usual

Lexi Nahl

After months of horse race coverage, scandals and Wiki leaks, the election season has drawn to a close. We now know definitively that our next president will be Donald Trump. Last week’s decision has resulted in a fragmented social and political climate.  

Protests have erupted in streets throughout the nation, there has been an outcry on social media, petitions have been drawn and many celebrities are weeping alongside Clinton supporters.  The market’s reaction to the Trump presidency is perhaps the most unexpected.

Since the announcement on Nov. 8, stocks have not tumbled, and safe haven assets have not rallied significantly. Instead, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is climbing, along with interest rates, sending volatility measures falling. This is certainly not the panic reaction that was predicted, but rather seems to reflect investor optimism about Trump’s economic policies, coolly deemed “Trumped-up-trickle-down economics” by Clinton.  

Still, very few predicted this victory. Political correspondents, pollsters, and investors were all shocked by the announcement. How then, did Trump pull all of this off?

On spending alone, the Clinton campaign clearly outdid the Trump campaign. Clinton dropped a whopping $237.4 million (more than half of the campaign finances) on media buys alone, according to Bloomberg News.

The majority of money in this arena was spent in battleground states like Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina and, of course, Pennsylvania. Clinton also booked airtime in these states well before the Trump campaign even began its advertising efforts. 

By contrast, Trump did not even begin advertising until well into the summer and focused smaller amounts of money in key states like Florida. Trump spent only $68 million in media buys according to Bloomberg News. Trump actually spent less on television advertising than any other major presidential nominee in history, according to The New York Times. 

However, despite Trump’s lack of super PAC and field donations, the president-elect was able to garner $2 billion in free advertising—meaning that his name is thrown around by politicos, pundits and public figures alike frequently on the airwaves.

Though he is not always portrayed in a positive manner, the principle of “all press is good press” applies, and would therefore mean that Trump’s media was worth approximately $2 billion based on advertising rates.

However, thanks to big donors like Goldman Sachs and super PACS, like “Hillary for America,” Hillary Clinton raised over $1 billion in real dollars by the end of the election. 

The super PAC donations were another impressive boon for Clinton, who accepted $201.5 million in super PAC donations—more than three times the amount of donations Trump accepted. 

Bloomberg analysts predicted that Hillary Clinton’s dollar advantage would give her a leg-up going into the final weeks of the election when she had to push to get her message out through advertising and field operations even in traditionally republican states like Arizona. 

According to Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton’s cash pile exceeded Donald Trump’s by approximately $87.7 million in the final weeks of the election. 

Additionally, during the month of October, Clinton was able to put up $52.4 million in donations compared to Trumps $28.8 million. However, on spending, the two were closer last month. Clinton spent $48.4 million compared to Trump’s $47.6 million. 

Perhaps it is this recent bump in spending that pushed Trump towards victory in his final days, or perhaps it was his zealous voters, or the appeal his message. It may be impossible to know.