Trump spent less than half of what Clinton did per electoral vote

Donald Trump won presidential election on the cheap
Donald Trump won presidential election on the cheap

Donald Trump threw out campaign spending conventions in his expectation-shattering run to the American presidency.

The businessman racked up 306 electoral votes in his surprise win, versus 232 for rival Hillary Clinton, according to NBC News. Trump did so with thin traditional campaign spending. Instead, his chaotic and often divisive campaign drew constant eyeballs, earning him billions of dollars in free media and allowing him to spend comparatively little on television ads and ground operations.

His campaign committee spent $321.9 million through late November, compared with Clinton's $564.9 million spend. That comes out to about $1.05 million spent per Trump electoral vote, versus about $2.43 million spent per Clinton electoral vote.

While Trump's campaign increased its spending on ads in its final election push, it still spent much less on the traditional outreach tool than Clinton's team. For instance, as of late October, the Clinton campaign spent about $141.7 million on ads, compared with $58.8 million for Trump's campaign, according to NBC News.

That disparity extended to campaign payrolls. For example, Clinton's campaign had about 800 people on its payroll at the end of August, versus about 130 for Trump. That said, Democrats have employed larger ground operations than Republicans in recent presidential contests.

Still, it wasn't just Clinton who heavily outspent Trump; he also shelled out much less than other recent nominees.

Through late November 2012, the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent $775.4 million and $460.2 million, respectively.

Obama's campaign also spent about $702.9 million through late November 2008. Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign, however, spent less than Trump's, reporting about $231.6 million in expenses.