Election 2020

Trump Has a Total of Nine Donors in D.C.

Donald Trump speaks during a South Carolina Republican primary night event on Feb. 20, 2016, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Donald Trump may have a powerful grassroots campaign, but in the nation’s capitol, his supporters are sparse. Only nine people have contributed money to The Donald’s campaign, and at least two of those only intended to buy his signature “Make America Great Again” hats.

As The Daily Beast reported, the District of Columbia houses some 658,893 people, and only 391 of them cast votes for Trump in the Republican caucus on March 12. Marco Rubio and John Kasich thoroughly defeated him in the city, leaving Trump and Ted Cruz far in the dust. Only nine actually sent money his way, and many of them did so inadvertently.

Adam Conner, a Democratic operative who works for the San Francisco-based software company Slack, just wanted to find a few gag gifts for his Republican friends. He gave The Donald a total of $343 between August 17 and November 7 of last year, stocking up on “Make America Great Again” hats for Christmas.

I thought they’d be good gifts and a fun collectors item and didn’t think I’d have very long to buy them. Guess I was wrong. Plus I had a few Republican friends who wanted them but didn’t want to support Trump, so I gave them as gifts.

Conner seemed taken aback when he noted that “the store purchases count as donations apparently.” When asked if he regretted the purchases, he replied, “I mean the hats were popular gifts last year, and I think they’ll be a collectors item in the future, but I’m certainly done buying them now.”

Basil Dalloul, the CEO of a company that provides Internet access to the Middle East and North Africa, NOOR Data Network, S.A.E., also did not intend to contribute to Trump’s campaign when he paid $355 on October 27 of last year. In an email to The Daily Beast, he jokingly quipped, “lol, you’re going to be very disappointed when I tell you.”

“I bought some merchandise from the campaign store to give to some friends for sh*ts and giggles,” he wrote. “That’s it. No story. Feel the Bern!” That a Bernie Sanders supporter would be among the top ten donors to Trump’s campaign in the nation’s capitol speaks to the craziness of the election, and The Donald’s lack of support in the District.

There was at least one true believer among the ranks of D.C. Trump donors, however. Seventy-year-old Nancy Baeng, a former executive director at the Society for Neuroscience who has lived in the capitol since 1971, gave Trump $250 on January 30 of this year. While a true supporter of The Donald, Baeng did not know her donation had been processed successfully, since she mistakenly thought Trump (who has loudly decried the influence of campaign contributions) does not accept donations.

“Oh, I think he will make America great again,” she said. “I think we are really at a crossroads.”

Despite the low level of support for Trump in the city, Baeng declared, “I don’t feel like a minority at all.”

It doesn’t bother me at all! I think it’s unfortunate that there are all of those candidates supported by big money and Wall Street and lobbyists. My next-door neighbor supports him, as does her husband, and I get emails from all over the United States from people who love him….I happen to believe in Donald Trump and it doesn’t matter to me if I’m one of ten or one hundred.

Altogether, the D.C. donors have contributed less than $4,000 to Trump’s campaign. Among their ranks are three retired people (including Baeng), a mortgage banker, a pain specialist, a professor, and three (including Dalloul and Conner) who just wanted to buy some hats.

In the past month, more and more figures connected with the Republican “establishment” have endorsed Cruz, as the last true challenge to Trump. Even South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who once joked about killing Cruz on the floor of the senate and compared choosing between Trump and Cruz to choosing “being shot or being poisoned,” has come out behind the Texas senator. Trump’s weak support in D.C. might solidify the idea that the party is willing to unify behind Cruz in order to stop The Donald.