We all know presidential campaigns are expensive, but just what kind of numbers are we talking about out on the campaign trail? It’s not just TV ads and fundraising events…some of the things candidates spend their money on might surprise you:
1. Food: Aside from the fancier eats at catered stops or major fundraising events, fast food reigns supreme as the dining choice for most campaigns. Why? Because it’s fast, readily available, and open LATE. Regardless of where they’re snacking, food is a major expenditure for presidential candidates and their staffers. Some notable receipts include the Cruz campaign spending a whopping $1,233 on grilled cheese in Texas; Rubio’s campaign racking up $15,219 on dinner at the Bellagio; and Clinton’s numerous pizza runs. Plus, don’t forget all the coffee that staffers (and candidates) need to go, go, go! (And although not an expense, the Sanders campaign did receive $822 worth of ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s! Jealous.)
2. Campaign gear and materials: Political swag has become a huge part of campaigning. Clinton has spent roughly $62,873 on all those “Hillary” bumper stickers and signs, and Sanders is reportedly ringing in at about $3 million to get voters to “feel the Bern.” The Carson campaign paid $18,750 to hip hop producer Kevin “Khao” Cates to record a campaign theme song. And those “Make America Great” hats and tees? Trump has spent around $678,000 getting the word out with his popular gear.
3. Travel: Across the board it seems that candidates love using Uber, with campaigns spending almost $40,000 collectively on the transportation company (from funds allocated for taxis.) Clinton’s campaign has dropped about $30,000 on American Airlines flights alone, while roughly 23% of the Trump campaign’s total lodging expenses has been paid to luxury hotels.
4. Miscellaneous: Though out of the race, Rand Paul’s purchase of the domain randpaul.com for $100,890 was perhaps one of the most expensive single-ticket items from recent campaigns. Even more reason to get that domain now, in case you run for president someday!