Joe Biden has out-raised and is outspending Donald Trump by a significant margin, the latest election funding totals show, as Trump campaign insiders raise questions about their strategy with two weeks until the vote.
Mr Biden raked in $383 million dollars in September, breaking the record for the largest ever monthly haul set by his own campaign the month before. Mr Trump drew in $135 million less.
The disparities in spending have exacerbated anxiety inside the Trump campaign with Mr Biden leading nationally by more than 10 points according to the latest average of presidential polls - on 52.4 per cent, to 41.9 per cent for Mr Trump.
The huge amounts of cash flowing into the Biden campaign have enabled the 77-year-old to blitz key swing states.
In Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Mr Biden spent about $53 million to Mr Trump’s $17 million over the past month, with adverts largely attacking the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
His most-aired advert in the past week was aimed at senior citizens, featuring worried-looking older people, and Mr Biden's reassuring voiceover.
"Our seniors that are being hit the hardest are frightened," he said. "I want them to know that their health and safety will be my responsibility. If I'm your president, I'll have from day one ready to go the best medical experts and scientists to advise on our response."
On Sunday, Mr Trump held a fundraiser in Newport Beach, California, to drum up more cash. The event, which featured a live performance by the Beach Boys, saw tickets start at $2,800 (£2,200) per person, and up to $150,000 per couple for co-chair status.
“Everyone assumes he’s going to go to battleground states. No one really thinks about how Orange County, California, is an ATM machine,” said Jon Fleischman, a former state GOP official.
With in-person campaigning sharply limited, the traditional advantages built by a ground game in battleground states have largely been replaced by the air cover provided by advertising. More than $1.5 billion has been spent on the presidential race alone, compared to $416 million four years ago.
The onslaught of advertising, not noticed in solidly Democrat states like New York or California, can be dizzying. In Phoenix, Arizona, during the Spanish language broadcast of Exatlón - a popular reality TV show - an average of 15 adverts from the Biden and Trump campaign run per episode, The Washington Post reported.
With the Trump campaign forced to spend more in Arizona, a Republican state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, funding has been redirected from battleground states such as Ohio and Iowa.
The Trump campaign claims that all of its ad decisions have been strategic, and not budget-forced. “Television ads are a small piece of the voter outreach puzzle and the Trump campaign has perfected the art of utilising them in the most strategic, surgical way possible,” said Samantha Zager, the deputy press secretary for the Trump campaign.
Yet on Thursday, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, called a meeting at the White House to reassess their campaign, The Washington Post reported. Mr Kushner was trying to settle heated debates on where to spend the remainder of the campaign's funds in the crucial fortnight to come, with reports of a split between the national party - which wants to help Republican senate candidates - and the president's own team which is wedded to his personal agenda.
“We’re meeting to talk about our message and resource allocation,” said Jason Miller, a senior campaign adviser, who denied any rift between the campaign and the national party.
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, also out-raised Mr Trump, but the Trump campaign's smart strategy of highly-targeted online spending paid dividends.
This time, Mr Trump has again outpaced his Democrat rival throughout the campaign in online ads - although the challenger is catching up in the closing weeks.
Mr Trump has spent $165.8 million on ads on Facebook and Google since mid-April and $33.8 million since late September. By comparison, Mr Biden spent $130.1 million on online ads since mid-April and $34.7 million since late September.