In early August when FiveThirtyEight.com’s Now-Cast had Clinton with a 96.4% chance of winning the election, more than 70 Republicans signed an open letter to RNC Chair Reince Priebus begging him to stop helping fund Donald Trump’s campaign and instead divert the mone to down ticket races to shore up their majority in the U.S. House and stop Democrats from regaining control of the Senate. This was before Trump’s sexual predatory comments were revealed in the Access Hollywood video and numerous other revelations that have further revealed his true character.
It took a couple of months but Priebus eventually did end the RNC’s support of Trump:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Saturday told party officials to redirect funds away from nominee Donald Trump to down-ballot candidates, according to an official informed of the decision. In practical terms, the party will be working to mobilize voters who support GOP House and Senate candidates regardless of their position on the presidential race.
In the meantime, numerous other Republican-friendly groups began pulling their donations from the presidential race and redirecting them to House and Senate candidates and it’s only gotten worse – WAY worse since Trump bragged that he could do anything to women that he wanted because of his celebrity, including kissing them or grabbing their pussies without their consent. The headlines tell the story:
- Souring on Donald Trump, Republicans Pour Money Into Senate Races
- GOP donors, fearful of Trump-fueled electoral rout, direct big money down-ballot
- Donors plow more than $50 million into last-minute battle for the Senate
- Republicans fear Trump’s woes will flip Senate control to the Democrats and erode the House GOP majority
- Money Flows Down Ballot as Donald Trump Is Abandoned by Big Donors
- Republicans rush to build firewall to save the House
Even the billionaire Koch brothers have bailed on Trump and are now endorsing down ticket Republican candidates by name, a marked shift from their normal approach of running “issue ads” that little more than attacks on Democrats but allow them to skirt federal rules on spending limits and disclosure.
Here in Michigan, incumbents Mike Bishop in the 8th Congressional District and Tim Walberg in the 7th along with Jack Bergman in the 1st are the beneficiaries of this redirected largesse to the tune of $1.7 million in last-minute spending.
The result of Trump’s corrosive effect on the Republican Party is to increase the amount of cash being spent in these other races in a presidential election year.
Fortunately, Hillary Clinton’s lead has grown so large that she is now able to help down ticket Democrats herself. As she and her surrogates travel the country, they are spending much more time lately talking about the other Democrats who will appear on the ballot. And the reason is clear: even if Clinton blows Trump off the electoral map, without a Democratic-controlled Senate and a larger contingent of Democrats in the House, nothing she wants to do to enact the policies she’s talking about on the campaign trail will stand a chance of being enacted.
And that’s not even taking into account promises by GOP leaders to harass her with endless hearings and investigations, and possibility even impeachment proceedings.
Trump’s campaign is going to leave a devastating scar on America and elevating white nationalists out of the slimy muck and onto the national stage is only part of it.