Poor Donald Trump — he’s been a habitual failure at the only thing that really matters to him: Money. Not just in his personal life — not to discount yet another Trump casino closing — but in his campaign.
Trump’s campaign has always been an utter disaster when it comes to fundraising. In June, he raised about a million and a half — a catastrophically low figure, given the tens of millions on-hand for the Clinton campaign. To be fair, Trump doesn’t need to spend like Hillary does on publicity: He gets free advertising every time he opens his mouth and says something crazy.
Nevertheless, Trump’s fundraising failures have long been cause for panic in the Republican party. And he really seems to have no clue what’s going on: In July, Trump claimed that he had raised around $35 million — an improvement, to be sure, but nowhere near the $89 million that Hillary raised for her campaign and the party. But then the campaign later announced that they’d raised $80 million. Who’s keeping track of the money over there?
Regardless of which figure is true, it’s still a poor showing by Trump. Mitt Romney brought in $100 million in July during his campaign. And Trump should have done far better given that July featured the Republican National Convention, which typically gives fundraising a strong boost.
One possible explanation for Trump’s fundraising failures: Republicans just don’t really like him. Last week the Koch brothers explicitly instructed wealthy donors to avoid giving money to Donald and instead do what they can to prevent losses by Republicans running for Congress.
The Kochs have never been Donald fans — they’ve been telling people not to give him any money for months. But they doubled down at a millionaire meeting recently, grousing that while they can’t support Hillary, they’ll never support Donald.
What they don’t seem to want to admit, of course, is that withholding support from Donald is supporting Hillary. Even if they don’t want it to be the case, everything they do to keep Donald out of the White House is helping Hillary get in. It’s not like there’s a third-party candidate who’s going to pop up at the last second and defeat both of them.
But this is also bad news, in that it means that more money will be available to elect Republicans. The GOP already has a crazy-unfair advantage when it comes to congressional elections; following the last Census, they redistricted in a way that took many seats out of play. We’re stuck with Republicans in Congress for a decade until the next round of redistricting, and hopefully then Democrats can engage in the same gerrymandering.
So instead of flowing to Donald Trump, Koch money is now flowing to lousy Republicans in what few competitive seats they have, mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Florida. Of course, Florida. It’s always Florida. This is the Florida-est election this country’s ever faced.