As the latest polls show the Pennsylvania presidential race widening to Hillary Clinton’s advantage, her supporters have another reason to be confident: she’s dominating in the Keystone State when it comes to other factors that point to strong campaigns.
Clinton has had a presence via campaign ads on TV for far longer. Her staff is several times larger than Donald Trump’s in Pennsylvania. And she’s gained much more in contributions from Pennsylvanians — and Philadelphians.
Here’s how the race breaks down in Pennsylvania for Trump and Clinton for campaign cash, campaign size and TV:
Nationally, Clinton’s campaign has raised about 2.5 times as much in contributions as Trump. That difference is even more stark in Pennsylvania. She’s raised about five times as much: $7.86 million as of the end of August, compared to $1.76 million for Trump.
In Philadelphia, where polls show Trump garnering a higher percentage of the vote than any Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush, Trump contributions as of August add up to $38,850 (from 485 individuals). For Clinton, it’s $1.72 million. So Philadelphians have almost contributed more to Clinton’s campaign than all of Pennsylvania has to Trump’s.
The ground game
Trump has an oddly-located campaign outpost on South Street, half a block from a head shop and a few blocks from Fat Tuesday. He doesn’t have much else in Pennsylvania as far as offices. According to Trump’s website, Pennsylvania has 12 of these Republican field offices. He may also have individual offices in cities that were once used for his primary campaign. As Buzzfeed reported this summer about one in Monroeville, it’s unclear whether these are open and how much contact the actual campaign has with any organizers in charge of them. The total size of Trump’s staff in Pennsylvania numbered about a dozen in August, according to CNN.
Clinton’s campaign has a much larger presence. Between her campaign and Democratic field offices, Pennsylvania has 55. Philadelphia has seven. The suburban Philly counties have about a dozen. And, according to CNN, Clinton’s Pennsylvania staff as of late July numbered 300.
These types of offices and staff are traditionally considered crucial to a campaign’s ability to attract volunteers and get out the vote on election day, but the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign have disputed their usefulness. David Urban, Trump’s senior adviser in Pennsylvania, said in a statement office numbers are a false metric and Trump’s support is better measured by supporters at his events.
“We will have all the offices, staff and resources we need to win in November,” Urban said, “and any attempt to measure our strength by outdated metrics such as this one simply overlook the real state of play in the race.”
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As far as volunteers go, neither campaign would provide specific numbers about Philadelphia. Trump’s campaign claimed that its staff and employees knocked on 100,000 doors in Pennsylvania last Saturday alone. In a memo sent last month, Clinton’s campaign said some 14,000 volunteers had recorded about 80,000 hours of campaigning on behalf of Clinton as of August.
The TV ads
We’re entering peak political ad season and (if you still watch TV on TV) you’ve probably noticed advertisements supporting Trump and Clinton. But, according to FCC reports, Clinton has been spending more on ads in the Philadelphia area than Trump and has been on TV for longer.
Records show Clinton started paying for TV ads on stations like CBS3 and 6ABC in July when no records appear for Trump, though the two campaigns have each spent six-figure amounts at local stations in August and September. How’s it looking the rest of the way?
Only CBS3 had contract information posted for the month of October and early November. And the station’s contracts so far were only with Clinton, who was paying more than $80,000 a week for ads in late October and the first week of November.