Remember all that hype about Republican enthusiasm at the polls and how that was going to boost their overall chances come November? Welp, turns out fundraising numbers aren't looking so hot for the Republican National Committee, which means they've had to pull back from some of their commitments to helping down-ticket candidates. Apparently, trouble was in the air at the RNC’s spring meeting this week. Here's a longer-than-usual excerpt from Jonathan Martin's reporting—delicious:
Committee officials outlined detailed plans in written “playbooks” distributed this year in the most competitive states about how they intended to assist Republican campaigns up and down the ballot with money and manpower. By July 1, Florida was to have 256 field organizers and Ohio another 176, for example, according to a state party chairman in possession of the strategy books who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.
But Sean Spicer, the committee’s chief strategist, acknowledged this week that the committee had begun informing state parties and statewide campaigns that fulfilling such plans would now be “slower.” He said the pledges had been made with the assumption that Republicans would have “a presumptive presidential nominee by now.”
Just as revealing, the party is also taking steps to create a separate fund-raising entity dedicated to Senate races, an acknowledgment that many of the wealthiest contributors are increasingly focused on protecting Republican control of Congress rather than on a presidential campaign they fear is lost.
Taken together, the party’s financial difficulties illustrate the considerable fallout Republicans are facing from a nominating contest that could last through mid-July and that features two leading candidates, Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, who are deeply troublesome to many leading Republican donors.
On top of all this, if Trump is the nominee, Republicans will be stuck with a candidate who revels in the fact that he has no donor network to speak of and who’s shown no serious commitment to helping down-ticket candidates. Because when it comes to Trump, it’s all about him. He clearly hasn’t given an ounce of consideration to what it will take to actually govern if he was elected.
All this has RNC officials promising to create a “Senate Trust fund” that is specifically aimed at saving their control of the Senate. But that was news to the fundraising committee already dedicated to doing just that, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Regardless, the real question will be whether GOP officials can convince donors who have already been burned by a nominating process gone awry to make up for the deficit that a reviled Ted Cruz or defiant Donald Trump will create.