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.