Trump's Fundraising Fail Imperils House, Senate GOP

Donald Trump's staggering failure to raise money in May could set back his presidential campaign and endanger members of his party running down ticket.

The presumptive Republican nominee ended the month of May with a paltry $1.2 million to spend against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who entered June with $42 million in the bank.

As the Republican National Committee tries to fill the gap, it leaves the party with fewer resources to invest in congressional and gubernatorial races.

That could be a big problem for the GOP's vulnerable majority in the U.S. Senate. The Democrats need to win five seats to control the chamber next year, and at least that many Republican seats are up for election in blue states and battlegrounds.

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said Trump's skeletal staff numbers are nowhere near the levels needed to launch an effective campaign.

"That's about enough to win the state of Florida, let alone eight or nine battleground states," O'Connell said. "Obviously, they're hoping that the RNC is going to pretty much pick up that part of the campaign."

O'Connell noted down-ballot candidates in electorally significant states, such as Ohio and Virginia, could benefit from the fact that the RNC will be pumping in resources on behalf of Trump.

"It's like top-down economics," O'Connell said of the RNC's allocation of funding and staff. "It just all depends whether or not you're in the presidential electoral mix."

Portman and Ayotte could reap the benefits of an RNC push in their respective states, O'Connell explained, while Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is "in a dead-man-walking position" given that the party is unlikely to sink resources into a state Clinton will ultimately win.

Read more from Sarah Westwood, David Drucker and Al Weaver at the Washington Examiner

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Why Is #TrumpSoPoor? Hollywood GOP Won’t Throw ‘Good Money After Bad’

he news that Donald Trump raised a mere $3.1 million last month — leaving him with about $1.3 million on hand — has left many in the Republican party scratching their heads in disbelif. But it was anything but surprising to conservatives living and working in Hollywood.

Many say they’re holding off on donations for fear of being outed as Trump supporters in public contribution disclosures.

The lack of Hollywood money isn’t the only one of Trump’s fundraising problems — when has Hollywood not leaned left? — but it doesn’t help. And if Republicans in other industries are also afraid of seeing their names next to Trump donations, that’s another disadvantage for the real estate mogul and reality star.

One of the worst months of Trump’s campaign hasnt helped.

“Since Indiana, the campaign has been on vacation,” GOP political strategist Ford O’Connell told TheWrap. “It’s a problem.”

Read more from Itay Hod at The Wrap

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Donald Trump: I’ll Fund My Run

Donald Trump’s vow to self-fund his campaign after threats of a delegate revolt at the Republican convention fired up his base yesterday as tension in the GOP party threatened to challenge his candidacy once again.

At a rally in Las Vegas, Trump blasted the “insurgent group” behind a push to allow delegates pledged to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to vote for another candidate, saying it wasn’t allowed by party rules. Trump added he would self-fund his campaign if the Republican party didn’t support him.

And despite his talk otherwise, Trump needs that help, strategists said.

“ ‘I’m going to do it on my own’ sounds great, but it’s problematic,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell told the Herald. “People like Trump because he’s the antithesis of the GOP establishment. He represents a giant middle finger to the Washington establishment ... but he still needs 90 to 92 percent of registered Republicans to vote to win in November.”

O’Connell said that scenario has almost no chance of succeeding.

Read more from Dan Atkinson at the Boston Herald

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Latina Civil Rights Leader Campaigns Against Trump After 'Year Of Hate'

Latina civil rights icon Dolores Huerta is working to mobilize Latinos to keep Donald Trump out of the White House and criticizing GOPers for not denouncing the candidate who she said is now “the face of the Republican Party.”

Huerta joined with People for the American Way (PFAW) and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado to launch "Donald Trump's Year of Hate" on the anniversary of Trump's campaign announcement. The program seeks to reinforce the idea that Trump, with the complacency of the party, has harmed Latinos in the United States through his campaign rhetoric.

That rhetoric has waned Republican Party leaders' enthusiasm for the presumptive nominee in the past two weeks, following his racially tinted attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel and a heavily criticized response to the mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub that left 49 people dead, including many Latinos.

Trump has been admonished by party leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and has even received words of warning from close allies like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), his point man on Capitol Hill.

Few Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements, however. 

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, warns the left could be overplaying its hand. 

"The best way for Democrats to win is to keep Republicans divided," O'Connell said. "If you tie the top to Trump and slam everyone, they may unite to win."

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, warns the left could be overplaying its hand. 

"The best way for Democrats to win is to keep Republicans divided," O'Connell said. "If you tie the top to Trump and slam everyone, they may unite to win."

Read more from Rafael Bernal at The Hill

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Trump Loses Momentum Just Weeks After Big GOP 'Endorsements'

A couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump was riding a wave of Republican unity to the top of several national polls while Hillary Clinton struggled against an insurrection within her own party that threatened to distract her campaign into the summer.

Much has changed.

After a tumultuous week of picking fights with the media, a federal judge, and any Republican who criticized him, Trump had started an effort to reset the race by laying out his case against Clinton.

The terrorist attack in Orlando on Sunday has presented new challenges, though, and Trump's response to it-- thanking supporters for congratulating him for expecting a terrorist attack to occur, questioning the president's loyalty, and ramping up his anti-Muslim rhetoric-- has reopened divisions within the GOP.

Republican lawmakers' responses to questions about Trump's fiery words this week have mostly varied from lukewarm support to outright condemnation to simply fleeing reporters asking questions about him.

Republican strategists say members of their party expressing differences with their nominee is not unusual, and it happened with Mitt Romney in 2012 too, but the way they are doing it with Trump is different and more problematic.

"Republicans have a kneejerk reaction to criticize the nominee early and often," said GOP strategist Ford O'Connell said.

He contrasted McConnell's dismissals of Trump's controversial comments with Ryan outright declaring his attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel "racist."

"There's a much more subtle way to do that so you're not just kneecapping the nominee."

Politicians may think they are helping secure their own seat in their local races, O'Connell said, but a weak candidate at the top of the ballot will hurt them in the long run. By criticizing Trump, they feed the media cycle and keep the spotlight on his problems.

"In a lot of ways, Trump winged it through the primary and he was very successful," O'Connell said. "But he has to understand the general election is a different animal."

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at Sinclair Broadcast Group

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Trump's Anti-Terror Rhetoric Could Help Boost Race To White House

The worst mass shooting in the U.S. history could give a boost to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's presidential campaign, as it underscores Americans' deep concerns about terrorism. 

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others were wounded Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who had allegedly pledged allegiance to the terror group Islamic State (IS), which is considered a growing threat worldwide. 

While Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has responded by calling for more gun restrictions - the attacker used a legally purchased military grade automatic rifle - polls show that the gun control debate does not resonate with most Americans.

In sharp contrast, Trump's rhetoric in the terror strike's aftermath has focused solely on the terror threat - an issue that tops the concerns of most Americans. 

Republican Strategist Ford O' Connell told Xinhua that in the short run, Trump's focus on terrorism, rather than gun control, will give Trump an edge over Clinton.

"Essentially Americans are scared... And as long as the Trump campaign is about terror and the economy, Trump is on better footing than Clinton," he said.

Read more from Matthew Rustling at Xinhua

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Sanders Supporters' Next Moves Could Be Crucial For U.S. Presidential Race

What supporters of U.S. political outsider Bernie Sanders will do could be crucial for deciding who wins the White House race in 2016, experts said.

Though Sanders still refused to quit the nomination race after his rival Hillary Clinton has sealed the victory, the public's attention has already shifted to what his supporters will do next or whom they are going to vote for in the 2016 presidential race.

Clinton is eager to woo Sanders supporters, most of them are millennials who are fed up with politicians in Washington. They are also burdened by high student loans and are struggling to make ends meet seven years after the 2008 economic nose dive.

Some experts believe the Sanders crowd may well determine the outcome of the 2016 race to the White house.

"Although Bernie's name will not be on the ballot in November, his supporters could very well decide this election," Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

A large number of Sanders supporters are willing to back Clinton after Sanders finally quits the campaign, a recent poll found. But up to 20 percent of Sanders supporters said they are going to support Trump.

"The fact is that some (Sanders supporters) agree with Trump when it comes to trade and corporate donations in politics," O'Connell said.

That's why Trump in recent weeks seems to be echoing Sanders, lambasting the political system as rigged, as Sanders often does, experts noted.

"He's trying to get as many of Bernie's supporters as possible," O'Connell said.

Read more from Matthew Rustling at Xinhua

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Trump’s Dilemma: Moving To The Center Could Alienate His Base

There’s an obvious effort underway within the Republican Party to civilize Donald Trump, or at least to drag him into compliance with the most basic norms of first-world political discourse. It may or may not be successful in the end, but either way, it bodes ill for the Republican Party in the coming election because of the way Trump has engineered his primary success.

Barring a seismic shift in the GOP nominating process, the man who will carry the party’s banner into November won by appealing to the grievances of a segment of the party that is generally older, whiter, and less educated than the rest of the Republican electorate.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell agreed that the event was not Trump's best moment. "Trump's supporters like him not because they agree with all of his positions but because of what he represents, which is a giant middle finger to the establishment wing of the GOP and to DC politics as usual. For Trump to succeed in this election he doesn't need to be as scripted and subdued as he was in Tuesday night's speech. In fact, Trump can be as outspoken and colorful as he wants so long as he stays 'on message.'"

And while that message includes attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and telling GOP voters how he plans to improive their lives, O'Connell added, "He does not need to go down rabbit holes after federal judges or airing personal grievances that are not related to [those] two items."

Read more from Rob Garver at The Fiscal Times

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GOP On Edge Over Donald Trump’s ‘Un-American’ Remarks About Judge

Donald Trump ended the primary season Tuesday much as he began it: engulfed in controversy over his brash personality and controversial remarks about Mexicans.

As the final GOP voters cast presidential primary ballots in California and four other states, Mr. Trump was trying to put out fires he ignited after he said a federal judge was biased because of his Mexican heritage.

The billionaire businessman said his comments were being “misconstrued,” but panic was setting in among fellow Republicans who were bracing for a general election tied to an unpredictable candidate.

“If you said two years ago that Donald Trump was going to be the presumptive nominee and running away with the race, you probably would have been committed to a mental institution,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “And yet here we are, and part of what has given rise to Trump is an absolute disdain for Washington, D.C., politics and the establishment of the Republican Party.”

Read more form Seth McLaughlin at The Washington Times

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Trump’s Endorsement Of Renee Ellmers Stokes Conservatives’ Fears

Donald Trump’s endorsement of Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina sent shock waves through the likely GOPpresidential nominee’s supporters over the weekend, stoking new fears about his political reliability after the first person he backed has a record diametrically opposed to him on immigration.

Mrs. Ellmers has been one of the House GOP’s staunchest supporters of legalizing illegal immigrants, and voted against Republicans’ efforts last year to stop President Obama’s deportation amnesty.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said Mr. Trump’s move may look odd on its face, but strategically it makes sense: Many of the anti-Ellmers groups, such as the conservative Club for Growth, were already opposed to Mr. Trump, so his endorsement doesn’t cost him anything there.

And besides, Mr. Trump gets to show loyalty to a embattled congresswoman, at a time when he’s looking to connect with female voters, Mr. O’Connell said.

“Donald Trump is looking at this from a national perspective and right now he needs to get as many friends on board as possible, even ones he may disagree with,” the strategist said.

Read more from Stephen Dinan at The Washington Times

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