For the last year, Trump would have us assume that he controlled the GOP and that the politicians sit at his pleasure. He has followed up on his vow to destroy everyone he saw as not “fighting hard enough” for him in 2020 in going against Gov. Kemp in Georgia, opposing every Senator that voted “guilty” in his impeachment, right on down to individual House races. Trump told us that he would be remaking the party in his own image by handpicking candidates (based entirely upon a willingness to subsume one’s identity in Trump) and these candidates would be unbeatable given that they’d have the MAGA army behind them.
As most people suspected, the process has been nowhere near as clean and clear. Trump’s endorsement has had little to no effect on fundraising or momentum according to CNN:
Trump promised retribution against those Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach or convict him in 2021. However, both Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski have dramatically outraised their Trump-endorsed primary opponents.
In Wyoming, Cheney raised $1.6 million more than Harriett Hageman in the fourth quarter of 2021, and in Alaska, Murkowski brought in nearly $1.4 million to Kelly Tshibaka’s $602,000.
At least in Wyoming and Alaska, Trump’s thirst for revenge has not scared donors away, indeed it might (?) be seen as an advantage, at least in fundraising. Cheney and Murkowski supporters might see the candidates as needing an extra push uphill? The report has two other examples, one from Illinois and one from West Virginia, in which the Trump endorsement is not helping the candidate obtain any sort of fundraising or polling advantage.
Speaking of which. Republican candidates best come to peace with the fact that the only “help” they will receive from Trump is either his express endorsement or his silence. According to the CNN report, and surprising exactly no one, Trump hasn’t been particularly generous with financial support. Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC brought in $7 million in January alone, leaving him with a total of $124 million. And yet:
Trump’s leadership political action committee, Save America, gave a combined $205,000 to dozens of federal candidates endorsed by the former President between July and December 2021, according to its FEC report filed January 31.
Anyone who believed that Trump would provide substantial direct financial help isn’t smart enough to sit in Congress.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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