Many Trump-endorsed GOP primary candidates have something in common — lousy fundraising: conservative

Many Trump-endorsed GOP primary candidates have something in common — lousy fundraising: conservative

In Republican primary races — from U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives races to gubernatorial races — former President Donald Trump has been endorsing the candidates he considers the most MAGA while slamming the others as RINOs: Republicans In Name Only. But according to conservative Washington Post opinion columnist Henry Olsen, many of Trump’s picks have a problem: lousy fundraising.

In his February 2 column, Olsen explains, “Fundraising reports for the fourth quarter of 2021 are in, and they don’t paint a pretty picture for candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Combined with polling data suggesting a decline in Trump’s relevance to Republican voters, they might just indicate that Trump’s ice-like grip on the party is slowly thawing.”

Olsen cites specific Trump-backed candidates, observing, “If money is the mother’s milk of politics, Trump’s acolytes are severely malnourished. As Josh Kraushaar notes for National Journal, not a single Trump-backed federal candidate raised $1 million in the last three months of the year. Many raised abysmally pitiful totals. John Gibbs, Trump’s pick for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, raised only $51,000. Trump’s favorite in the Alabama Senate primary, Rep. Mo Brooks, raised only $386,000; both of his major competitors topped $1 million.”

The columnist adds, "Even Harriet Hageman, Trump’s favorite to take out Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, brought in only $443,000. If Team Trump can’t even raise money to beat Cheney, something’s going wrong.”

Olsen goes on to say that Trump’s picks may be suffering from weak fundraising because they lack “a persuasive message.”

“Most have little to distinguish themselves from their Republican opponents other than Trump’s ‘complete and total endorsement,’” Olsen argues. “But recent poll data shows that Republican voters are increasingly moving away from blind personal devotion to the former president. The NBC News poll has, for years, tracked whether Republicans are more supporters of Trump or the party. In October 2020, that measure favored Trump by a 54-38 margin; their most recent January poll showed the numbers reversed, with GOP voters saying they backed the party more than Trump by a 56-36 margin.”

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