Trump’s failure to make even a nominal effort at fundraising — while continually promising to “self-fund” — is freaking out Republicans. Apparently he cannot bring himself to woo donors. And if Trump is not even trying to raise money, why should big donors pay up?
The Republican National Committee needs to call his bluff: Pony up the money and put it in an escrow account. It will be returned with interest if he raises enough money. But wait. Does he not have $500 million on hand? I thought he was worth $10 billion.
It has become evident that Trump is not even trying to win. Whether you look at staff, money, ads or data, he’s waaay behind Clinton. As The Fix put it: “Donald Trump is not running a bad campaign. He is barely running any sort of campaign at all — at least not by any definition that any political person would recognize. . . . It’s virtually impossible to give him anything other than a failing grade on virtually every metric we have used to assess campaigns.”
Trump’s argument that he operate like this because he did so in his successful primary campaign is belied by the polls (more later, but spoiler: he’s behind everywhere) and his own feeble attempts in the wake of backlash to show he’s hiring a few more people — all of four people — yesterday. (Hillary Clinton has 683 people; Trump now has approximately 73. Hey, only 610 to go!)
You have a candidate who is not equipped to win and does not seem to be trying to win. Isn’t that grounds for delegates finding a willing and able nominee?
Ironically, it may be the polls — which he quoted incessantly in the primary season — that do him in. Trump is below 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics national average. On the electoral map based on current polling, RCP shows Clinton already at 211 votes of the needed 270. And that doesn’t include the 29 votes in Florida, where a Quinnipiac poll Tuesday showed her pulling to an 8-point lead. In another month, what if Trump is down to the mid-30s in national polling? Or trailing on average in all the battleground states President Obama won in 2012? (Oops, he already is.)
While the revolt is driven by the delegates respected Republicans are giving them plenty of encouragement. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the latest big-name Republican to argue “historically, not just this year, delegates are and should be able to vote the way they see fit.” As Trump’s poll numbers crater look for other Republicans to weigh in as well, urging the delegates to save the party from itself. (The paltry show of support for Trump among religious Christians is further evidence he’s making little progress in bringing the party together.)
We have not yet gotten to the moral reasons for rejecting Trump, nor those looking to the interests of the party and of the country. There exists scant evidence that Trump is about to transform into a thoughtful, kind and stable individual. He’s 70 years old, for goodness’ sake. A man of that age convinced of his own greatness, too arrogant to admit what he does not know and inured to reality is never going to become self-reflective.
In rejecting Trump as intellectually and temperamentally unfit as well as unable to run a first-rate campaign, GOP delegates would reclaim a measure of seriousness and respectability for their party. In doing so and sparing the country the Trump vs. Clinton choice, the delegates would perhaps extend the life of the Republican Party and ensure a capable competitor for conservative ideas. Sometimes, doing the right thing is also doing the politically smart thing.