Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump may be getting a steady flow of small dollar donations, but the ticker on his campaign website can’t confirm that or deny it.
That’s because it’s not pulling from a live database of donors, but from a static spreadsheet that hasn’t been updated in nearly two weeks.
- Trump for President
Even though the ticker depicts a campaign that’s regularly receiving small financial donations from supporters – in the $5 to $25 range – it’s actually just pulling a 10-day-old sample list of names/donations and running it on repeat. And that’s a problem, because the ticker makes it look like Trump’s campaign is receiving constant donations from small dollar donors.
Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale told Business Insider, “The ticker is not intended to be real time and just represents people, who like millions of others, have donated to the campaign. It shows we are a movement of the people and not that of big Wall Street donors.”
Twitter user Jack Canty spotted the discrepancy between what Trump’s campaign website shows and what it leads visitors to believe.
Canty is a programmer, and he was able to confirm his suspicion by pulling up the source code of Trump’s campaign website:
— Jack Danger (@jackdanger) October 20, 2016
We were able to duplicate what Canty saw on our own.
Plenty of websites pull directly from a live database. The donation ticker on the Trump campaign website, however, pulls from a static document labeled “sample.” It’s not clear if the names and donations listed on it are pulled from the actual list of Trump donors, or if these are indeed just “sample” donations.
To be completely clear, this doesn’t mean that the Trump campaign isn’t receiving ongoing small dollar donations from individuals. But the ticker on his campaign’s website, at best, represents data that’s nearly two weeks old as up-to-date; at worst, it’s an outright lie.
Update: The post above has been updated with a quote from the Trump campaign’s digital director Brad Parscale.