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Republicans sound the alarm over Trump's fundraising

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by a small margin in battleground states Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by a small... 04:45

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked on ABC's "This Week" whether Donald Trump can win in November with the kind of campaign cash he has right now.

His answer was no.

"I hope he won't have that kind of money deficit come fall," McConnell added. "There's some work to be done to turn the campaign in a different direction, and one of those obvious flaws at the moment is cash on hand. He needs to catch up, and catch up fast."

After Trump's anemic fundraising report in May, McConnell isn't the only top Republican expressing concern about the presumptive GOP nominee's ability to raise money to compete against Hillary Clinton in the general election this fall.

As Republicans contemplate facing off against a well-funded Clinton and become used to the reality that Trump will be their standard-bearer this fall, they're making not-so-subtle suggestions to Trump that he needs to step it up. Successful campaigns require staff, investments in technology and infrastructure, and ad dollars to put on the air; though Trump was able to secure the GOP nomination without using the traditional campaign playbook, many in the GOP worry it won't be enough to defeat Clinton in the fall.

Getting Trump to raise big sums of money is made harder by the candidate's own attitude toward depending on donations: throughout the GOP primary, Trump made his distaste for fundraising apparent, pitching his self-funding as a plus to voters and saying it meant he wasn't owned or influenced by anyone.

Clinton and her main super PAC, Priorities USA, had a combined $94 million on hand at the beginning of the month--and Trump had just $1.3 million. His campaign brought in just over $3 million in donations in May, compared with Clinton's $26 million.

Asked whether Trump should be self-funding his campaign to make up for the deficit, McConnell said Sunday that it doesn't matter where the money comes from as long as he has it.

"He needs to be able to compete financially--where the money comes from, whether it comes out of his own pocket or from others, doesn't really make all that much difference."

Still, McConnell reiterated, "he's going to have to have way more than he has now in order to run the kind of campaign he needs to win."

It's worth noting that by the end of June, Trump's fundraising numbers could look quite different: he officially began holding fundraisers with the Republican National Committee at the end of May, and has since kept up a steady stream of similar events around the country.

Last week he sent out his first fundraising email to supporters, offering to match up to the first $2 million out of his own money--and the RNC said it had raised $5 million with Trump in the two days after that first email went out.

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