Republican President-elect Donald Trump beat one of the most well-funded candidates in U.S. history by spending less per-vote than the cost of a sandwich, undermining the conventional wisdom that money is the important factor in elections.
Trump spent less than $5 per vote, compared to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s more than $10 per vote, with Trump spending $285.6 million for 59.21 million votes versus $609 million for 59.38 million votes for Clinton, according to OpenSecrets.org data and New York Times vote totals Wednesday morning.
Trump’s victory with less than $5 per vote directly challenges the notion that there is too much money in politics, and invalidates calls for stricter campaign finance laws from the political left. (RELATED: This Is How Much The 2016 Campaign Will Cost Per Voter)
Trump’s win in the early hours of Wednesday morning flew in the face of all but a few polls, most of which predicted a comfortable Clinton victory, and turned pundits upside down, most of whom claimed Trump couldn’t beat Clinton’s superior fundraising and ground game.
But in what may prove to be the decisive factor in the 2016 presidential race, Trump earned $5 billion in free media coverage throughout the campaign, according to data analytics firm mediaQuant, while Clinton relied on TV ad spending.
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