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President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pa., on Thursday evening. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Money concerns are very real for President Trump's campaign — an unusual predicament for a sitting president, and one that worries veteran Republican operatives, with Trump so far behind in swing states as the race climaxes.

Why it matters: The campaign's view is that Trump will get his message out, and he depends less on paid media than normal politicians. But the number of states Trump has to worry about has actually grown, and Joe Biden's massive August fundraising haul has given his campaign a lift as early voting begins.

The New York Times leads today's paper with a big Labor Day scene-setter with several intriguing references to money problems for Trump:

  • "The light television spending and advertising blackouts in some key states have mystified allies," The Times reports.
  • Trump "is expected to increase television spending next week, but several Republicans said that Bill Stepien, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager since July, was taking a cautious approach after the former leadership spent huge sums on television and digital ads earlier this year, to no discernible effect."

Update ... Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement: "President Trump’s fundraising is breaking records and we are paying close attention to the budget, allowing us to invest twice as much from now until Election Day than we did in 2016."

  • "President Trump's reelection strategy reflects the unique 2020 campaign calendar and we're confident that his success in rebuilding our economy ... will prove the pivotal contrast this fall."

Last Monday, AP's Brian Slodysko reported that the Trump campaign had pulled most TV ads over the previous week, ceding the airwaves to Biden, who was outspending Trump by more than 10 to 1.

  • Biden and DNC raised a stunning $365 million in August, breaking the record for one month of presidential fundraising.
  • At the end of July, before the announcement of Sen. Kamala Harris swelled Biden's fundraising, Trump reported slightly more cash on hand.

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Podcasts

Pete Buttigieg talks Joe Biden's economic plans

Joe Biden has a very different prescription for America's economy than does President Trump. Not just in terms of how to tax and spend, but also in how to approach trading partners like China.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Biden's economic policies and philosophies with former presidential candidate and current Biden campaign surrogate Pete Buttigieg.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Biden's closing ad campaign

Joe Biden attends a virtual town hall event with Oprah Winfrey at The Queen theater in Delaware. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's team is spending tens of millions of dollars on a national digital ad campaign in the final days before Election Day — but highlighting a plethora of voters from Pennsylvania in particular, underscoring how critically important the state is.

Why it matters: Biden's team is betting that COVID-19 is on the ballot, and amplifying the stories of those affected by the pandemic with an emphasis on persuading voters in key battlegrounds to support the former VP.

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