With money being the famed "mother's milk" of politics, one of the big black marks against Donald Trump was his seeming disdain for raising funds. But that appears to have changed: It was recently reported that through small donations from supporters he has nearly caught up with Hillary Clinton's fundraising totals.
However, a recent report on negative advertising shows that Trump's inability to snag big donors may be having a very large—and damaging—impact on his campaign. That impact is being seen with the surprising lack of negative advertising against his rival.
In past years, the famous negative campaign ads, such as the Swift Boat attack ads against John Kerry in 2004, have been launched and paid for by outside actors. Clinton is not facing that expected stream of negative ads.
Recent reports note that Clinton has faced fewer negative ads in the general election than Senator Marco Rubio faced in the Republican primary. The result has allowed Clinton a much easier race than she might have had against a more mainstream Republican.
As we've seen, candidates can raise a billion dollars, but that is not enough to win an election. The reality is that today, independent spending by super PACs and 501(c)(4) organizations is critical to pushing campaigns forward. Officially, they may not be allowed to coordinate with the candidate, but for all intents and purposes, they have become the major players funding political campaigns.