As the nation’s focus and political fundraising apparatus homes in on the Senate runoff elections in Georgia next month, President Trump’s zombie campaign is also asking for money. “It’s absolutely critical that you join President Trump in fighting alongside Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to stop the Radical Left,” a campaign email from Monday states, urging supporters to donate “ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY” to ensure a Republican sweep on January 5.
But donating through Trump may not be the most effective way to get cash to the candidates. As Politico notes: “Trump’s new political machine is pocketing most of the dough — and the campaigns of the Georgia senators competing in the Jan. 5 races aren’t getting a cent.” Only a quarter from every dollar donated to the president is going to the Republican National Committee and the rest is going to Trump’s super PAC, exacerbating reported GOP concerns that small-dollar donations are being routed away from the crucial races. Politico reports:
When donors click on Trump’s emails and texts, they are directed to a site that urges donations of anything from $5 to $2,800. Lower down on the page, it notes that 75 percent of each donation goes to Trump’s political action committee, Save America, up to the first $5,000 given. Twenty-five percent then goes to the RNC, which paid for Trump’s recent visit to the state.
Donors who give even more money can have their cash directed into a Trump legal fund or other accounts benefiting the RNC. But regardless of the amount given, none goes directly to the Georgia Senate candidates.
According to the report, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has already contacted the White House and the RNC about the problem. Not only does it keep money from Trump’s massive contact list from making its way to the Atlanta suburbs, there’s the issue of fundraising in 2022 and beyond: If the president doesn’t cooperate now, there’s little hope that he will follow the party line and nudge his unwavering base of support to GOP-approved candidates in the midterms.
The money is certainly needed in the surprise state of the 2020 cycle. According to the media tracking firm AdImpact, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and supporting PACs are expected to outspend Republicans $131 million to $86 million. Joe Biden is also asking individual supporters to donate $25 to the candidates.
Getting in the way of efficient fundraising isn’t the only problem Trump is causing in the one state that stands between the GOP and Democratic control of the U.S. Congress. Republicans who aren’t aggressively conspiracy-inclined fear that Trump’s claims about a rigged election could hurt the Party’s showing on January 5 if its most MAGA voters are convinced that the system is rigged and sit out the runoffs.