There’s been unprecedented GOP fallout amid the firestorm surrounding the 2005 Donald Trump tape released Friday — just two days before the critical second debate and one month before election day. At least 24 Republican governors, representatives and senators have withdrawn their support since the lewd audio was leaked. Unverified reports have suggested the RNC has withdrawn their money from Trump’s campaign and will be redirecting the money to other Republican candidates (though Sean Spicer, the RNC’s Chief Strategist & Communications Director, has completely denied this story and stated that it’s not true.)
However, while the establishment may be turning against Trump now more than ever, it appears donors aren’t jumping ship. As Politico reports: While some major donors and super PAC operatives in interviews on Saturday expressed disgust over the recording, none of the big-money players who have been supporting Trump indicated they were reconsidering their spending to elect the GOP presidential nominee.
“Not one bit. That is old news,” said Doug Deason, who said his family has donated $1 million — and raised as much as $4 million more — for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee comprised of the campaign and the Republican National Committee. “Anyone who is ‘shocked’ that Trump talked like that 10 years ago is either being extremely disingenuous or naive. We all know Trump was that way. He isn’t anymore. Aren’t we a nation that is all about redemption and second chances?”
Representatives from a pair of pro-Trump super PACs — Future45, which is backed by the billionaire Ricketts and Adelson families, and Great America PAC — told POLITICO that they intended to keep spending on pro-Trump advertising and other efforts.
The continued support of the super PACs and their donors is key, since Trump’s campaign has lagged far behind that of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in fundraising and advertising. Trump’s campaign dropped ad reservations in key markets next week, while the RNC on Saturday appeared to at least temporarily halt the operations of some of the Trump Victory program.
While top GOP leadership has renounced Trump, many of them were reluctant to support him in the first place, and, quite frankly, probably were looking for any excuse to not support the candidate. There are major challenges ahead, but Trump’s campaign hasn’t lost its lifeblood just yet. In fact, a new poll — the first to measure the impact of the 11-year-old tape on voter sentiment — suggests voters are not turning their backs on Trump — and some may even punish those Republican candidates who are.While Trump’s comments are inexcusable, does anyone really think it was a coincidence they were leaked right after the latest Wikileaks dump on Hillary? Of course not. If people would just pay attention to what the media is trying to distract them from, it would be Hillary scrambling.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]