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The polls tighten, but Trump still trails Clinton with campaign cash

Donald Trump's campaign spending rose significantly in August as its donations climbed, but those funds still trailed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's campaign cash. The disadvantage came even as Trump has clawed back from a polling deficit against Clinton.

The Trump campaign's total disbursements for the month rose to $29.9 million, easily the most so far in this campaign and up from $18.5 million in July, according to a Federal Election report filed late Tuesday. Total receipts came in at $41.8 million, climbing from $36.7 million in the prior month.

Trump had less cash available, $50.3 million, than his opponent Clinton, who reported $68 million on hand at the start of September. She had $59.5 million in receipts for the month, up from $52.3 million in July, with spending rising to $49.6 million, up from $38.2 million in the prior month, amid a climb in ad buys.

Trump started August in a polling hole against Clinton, as she rode a bump after the Democratic National Convention. However, Trump has drawn nearly even with Clinton this month as she has had a bout with pneumonia and relatively restrained behavior on the trail for Trump's standards.

Separately, the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action raised $23.4 million in August, ending the month with $41.5 million on hand. Pro-Trump groups Great America PAC and Make America Number 1 raised $3.6 million and $1.1 million, respectively. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer previously donated to the latter PAC.

The Trump campaign's largest spending chunk, $11.1 million or about 37 percent, went to Giles-Parscale, which handles its digital marketing and fundraising and web design. Trump's campaign spent about 45 percent of its total at the company in July.

Placed media spending also jumped significantly as the Trump campaign started to buy television ads. It reported $5.3 million in placed media expenses for August, up from just over $8,000 in July.

The last FEC filings for the candidates prior to Election Day, which show this month's numbers, are due Oct. 20.