And what that tells us about Trump and the Republican Party in 2016.
News came out this week that the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would be putting a kibosh on holding high-dollar fundraisers that he had been doing in conjunction with the Republican National Committee (RNC). According to the campaign, Trump wanted to spend more time talking to voters directly rather than fundraising for the RNC. While this news definitely flew under the radar, it’s oddly significant in understanding the Republican Party’s plight in 2016.
For those that don’t know, many down ballot GOP candidates – like those competing over House and Senate seats – use that money raised in these high-dollar fundraisers on a variety of campaign operations. This money is actually very important for political parties in a presidential election year because these type of fundraisers help protect Senate and House seats. Specifically, in the last two weeks of the campaign, the money that Trump would have raised in these high-dollar fundraisers would have gone towards mobilizing operations (aka get-out-the-vote campaigns) to get conservative voters – specifically Trump supporters – to vote for down ballot GOP candidates.
Basically with Trump no longer holding these type of fundraisers for the RNC, he just did this to every down ballot Republican on the ticket:
Now some will question whether it’s fair for Trump to raise money for the GOP, when so many of them have distanced themselves due to his harsh rhetoric and sexual assault allegations from the last couple of weeks. Regardless, it’s important to remember that Trump isn’t just only turning his back on those members that have criticized or distanced themselves from him in the Republican Party, but he’s actually turning his back on the GOP as a whole! That includes down ballot candidates that supported Donald Trump throughout this election cycle as well!
It’s also important to remember, that while Trump had originally pledged he would self-fund his campaign, he soon figured-out that the costs of a presidential campaign were much greater than he had anticipated. So the RNC naturally stepped in and helped him raise millions during his presidential run.
In contrast with Hillary Clinton, she currently has over 40 fundraisers scheduled till Election Day! That means the Democrats will have a greater influx of cash, adding to their already impressive advantage, over their Republican counterparts. In other words, this could end up being a big blow to the Republicans who are trying to hold-on to competitive Senate and House seats in 2016. After all, money in politics gives candidates and political parties more options to work with (like creating political ads, better data operations, more campaign offices, ect).
To be fair, the Trump campaign insists this isn’t a ploy to hurt the GOP or it’s down ballot candidates and says it’s still raising money for the party in other various ways like online fundraising. However, this move by Trump highlights the current disconnect that exists between him and the GOP in 2016. Whether it’s just pettiness or Trump not understanding the impact of his commitment to the GOP, these types of decisions have looked to cost Trump and the Republicans the White House. Whether that costs the Republicans the House and Senate remains to be seen.
(Photo Credit: Donald Trump’s Instagram Account)