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Trump's war chest balloons to $38 million, but he still trails Clinton's

Donald Trump's campaign cash haul ballooned in July even as spending increased, but the Republican still trailed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the money race.

Trump's campaign reported $36.7 million in receipts for the month, compared with $52.3 million for Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission data released Saturday. Trump's campaign ended July with $38.4 million on hand, short of Clinton's $58.5 million.

Trump's spending jumped to $18.5 million, more than double its $7.8 million in June. Clinton's campaign reported $38.2 million in disbursements for July, up from $34.5 million in the prior month.

In July 2012, Mitt Romney's campaign reported $32.7 million in disbursements. President Barack Obama's committee said it spent $58.9 million.

The fundraising haul came as both candidates formally accepted the presidential nominations at their parties' conventions. The financial data for August, in which Clinton gained a solid polling advantage amid self-inflicted wounds from her opponent Donald Trump, is not due until next month. Recent gaffes from Trump have raised speculation that the Republican Party could move funds away from Trump and down the ballot.

Clinton was expected to raise more money than Trump's campaign in July and end the month with more cash available. In a separate statement, the Clinton campaign said it saw $62.3 million in total contributions for July. Those are pledged donations that may not have gone to the campaign's coffers during July.

However, Trump has spent significantly less than Clinton throughout the election. Trump has relied on intense news coverage and social media to push his message throughout his campaign, largely shunning traditional advertising channels and some methods of voter outreach.

The Clinton campaign put up its first general election TV ads more than two months ago and has since spent more than $60 million on them. The Trump campaign's first ad buys this month in Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio cost about $4 million, according to NBC News.

It remains to be seen if the increase in July spending means the Trump campaign will be more willing to burn cash to make up the deficit against Clinton in August and beyond.

A large part of Trump's spending jump went to Giles-Parscale, a San Antonio, Texas-based web design and digital marketing firm. Trump's campaign reported nearly $8.4 million in expenses to the firm, about 45 percent of its total, and up from about $1.6 million in June.

The firm designs Trump's campaign website and aids it with online marketing efforts. The campaign reported the payments for "digital consulting/online advertising."

Its spending on payroll and ground operations did not budge much.