The only thing that seems to be dropping faster than Donald Trump’s odds of being elected president of the United States is the bank balance for the Republican National Committee that is currently at a historic low this close to a presidential election.
According to Open Secrets, the Republican Party has seen contributions take a nosedive as contributors — including big money interests — are sitting on their wallets while the Trump campaign moves from gaffe to unforced error to reports of inner turmoil that has resulted in three campaign managers in the past three months.
While in previous presidential years the GOP went into the last ninety days before the election with $70 to $90 million in the bank, the party showed a balance of $34.5 million in cash on hand at the end of July — compared to $88.7 million four years ago.
Making matters worse, of those funds, only $15 million is available in unrestricted dollars that can be used toward the election which includes not only funding Trump’s faltering campaign but also get-out-the-vote operations, registration drives and data operations that help down-ticket candidates as well.
One of the myriad of problems the party is facing is backing a candidate who has a history of bankruptcies — blithely walking away with cash in his pockets while leaving investors holding the bag — and who once declared, “I’m the king of debt. I love debt.”
Additionally, the Trump campaign has asked the RNC to open field offices for him in all 50 states — including states where he stands no chance such as California and New York — putting a further strain on the few dollars available.
In a close race, Trump might be able to raise the dollars needed to pull closer or ahead, but as he falls farther behind, with Nate Silver’s 538 giving him less than a 20 percent chance of winning, contributions may well dry up for the RNC as money gets diverted to local candidates and not the general RNC account.
Should Trump lose in a landslide, taking down-ticket candidates with him in a crushing defeat that hands both chambers of Congress to the Democrats, the party may be looking at a power deficit to match the red ink on the books as Trump moves on to his next project leaving the wreckage behind him like just another failed casino.