MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - At the DFL headquarters on Wednesday night, volunteers for the Hillary Clinton campaign enthusiastically made calls, asking for more volunteers at the upcoming Pride Festival.
“I work 12-14 hours a day, so I can say it’s pretty busy here in Minnesota,” said Fata Acquoi, an organizer with the Clinton campaign. “Bernie Sanders won Minnesota, so we have to establish that support with our Bernie Sanders supporters and tell them we’re here for you.”
Clinton campaign officials tell Fox 9 several paid staffers were hired in the last few months, and they expect more hires, as well as more offices opening. According to public records, Clinton has raised $1,869,272 from Minnesotans.
On the other hand, the Donald Trump campaign remains under the radar in Minnesota. Trump, who finished third in the caucuses, has raised $33,148 from Minnesotans. But one of the campaign’s state chairs told Fox 9 the campaign will beef up dramatically following the party’s convention — including additional hires and offices. Already, campaign officials say hundreds of volunteers make nightly calls from their homes.
The difference in financial strength, also reflected on the national stage, has some Republicans worried; Trump has $1.2 million in cash on hand. Others say the Trump campaign is too unconventional to be judged by conventional standards.
“I don’t think money is going to be the way you gauge support for Donald Trump. He’s running a very unconventional campaign,” Brian McClung, a GOP strategist and founder of MZA and Company. “Even though Republicans are very divided in their feelings about Donald Trump, ultimately they really don’t want to see Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.”
David Schultz, a political and legal professor, believes the financial disparities are a major hurdle for Trump. “This clearly poses a problem for Donald Trump if we use Minnesota as a sample of what he’s doing. The fact he never built strong relations with the state parties is a major problem because you need to do that in terms of getting out the vote,” said Schultz, a professor at Hamline University.
“Think about it in terms of a company. Running for president is a billion dollar business you run for about one year. Trump never built the business, so now when it comes to really performing in the crucial, let’s say 90 days of the general election, he may not have the business in place to do what he needs to do,” added Schultz.