Presidential campaigns require many expenses for common goods such as gasoline, hotel rooms, and cell phone plans. But of all the basic necessities, meals at chain restaurants may offer the clearest picture of a candidate and their staff's personalities. Dividend Mantra has sifted through the Federal Election Commission's campaign data to find out what this year's front-runners like to eat when they're on the road.
There isn't much surprise when it comes to candidates' favorite big food brands. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has previously declared his love for McDonald's, and he recently celebrated a big primary win with a Big Mac and fries. So it's no shock his campaign spends 29 percent of its food budget at the Golden Arches. The closest competitor for Trump's affection is Jason's Deli at 17 percent.
As for the Democrats, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a dead heat for his go-to meal. Dunkin' Donuts, a favorite of New England, and Panera Bread, which, like Sanders, has been preferred by young, progressive types, both check in at 16 percent. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, tries to appeal to the masses with pizza, one of America's most beloved foods. But the Clinton campaign spends a whopping 30 percent of its dining budget at Domino's, one of the biggest corporate brands in the game.
Dividend Mantra drew a couple more interesting tidbits from the data. Trump, in case you haven't heard, wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and he spends by far the least amount of money on Mexican food. His total is $668, compared to $8,294 for Sanders and $4,982 for Clinton. When the campaigns are looking to blow off steam, Clinton and her staff, who been trying to avoid losing their second consecutive presidential election as a big favorite, easily spend the most on booze. They've outpaced Sanders, $14,067 to $9,408. The campaign for Tump, a teetotaler, has spent just $2,484 at the bar.
While both Democratic and Republican campaigns seem to spread their money around major restaurant chains, the chains themselves lean heavily to the right.