As they say in Texas, "Money talks and bullshit walks," but Donald Trump has taken his reality show on the road as a campaign for POTUS and, in one respect, he has turned that tried and true axiom on its head. In Q4 2015 the Donald spent $10.8 million of his own money and raised $27.3 million selling t-shirts and baseball caps. That's $38 million compared to:
Hillary Clinton - $188 million
Ted Cruz - $104 million
Bernie Sanders - $98 million
Marco Rubio - $84.6 million
Ben Carson - $68 million
While both Sanders and Clinton lead in national polls against Trump (Sanders leads by an average 9% and HRC beats him by 3%) Trump holds a commanding double digit lead in most polls of Republican candidates. How is this possible?
Cable television news coverage of Trump's campaign for the three months in Q3 2015 might explain that. Of the top contenders Trump garnered over 40% of the free air time. It's gotten worse as the debates have reduced the field. Ben Carson just announced he's dropping out.
Now Les Moonves, President of CBS, openly admits that the Donald boosts ratings when it comes to "news" coverage of the campaign, hence his dominance of "free airtime" on CBS News. If Trump manages to get the GOP nomination, this "free airtime" under the guise of television "news" coverage will likely become a major factor in the run up to the election in November. Any time Trump needs a boost in the polls all he will need to do is announce a "news" conference to get wall to wall "news" coverage.
"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS," Les said when he called the campaign for president a "circus" full of "bomb throwing," and added that he hopes it continues. "Most of the ads are not about issues. They're sort of like the debates," he said, "Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now? ... The money's rolling in and this is fun. I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going,"
There is no word yet as to when the Trump campaign will begin to start "pay to play" fund raising by charging media for credentials to cover the campaign and/or require reporters to buy and wear "Make America Great Again" baseball caps.