Election 2020

Donors to These Four GOP Candidates Have Now Switched Their Support to Clinton

Republican presidential candidates take the stage during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado on Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Donors who gave at least $200 to four Republican candidates in the primary are now more likely to support Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.

Donors to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are more than three times as likely to be bankrolling Clinton than her Republican opponent, as are those who gave to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Those who donated to Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are twice as likely to now be in Clinton’s camp.

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings through June, only 94 Bush donors have given to Trump, while 303 of them have written checks for Hillary. 21 Graham donors gave money to The Donald, while 74 of them bankrolled his opponent. The numbers are similarly awful among Kasich donors (90 for Trump, 212 for Clinton) and Christie donors (49 for Trump, 103 for Clinton).

Other Republican candidates have more loyal donors. Financial backers who chose Texas Senator Ted Cruz, for example, overwhelmingly gave to Donald Trump in the general election (697 gave to Trump, while only 65 donated to Clinton). Carson donors also stood out in this regard — 509 of the good doctor’s supporters gave to The Donald (whom Carson endorsed), while only 31 of them wrote checks for Hillary.

Supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina have also fallen in line.

Donors who backed Florida Senator Marco Rubio, however, proved nearly split. While 349 of them have donated to The Donald, 209 defected to Hillary.

These donor defections are filling Clinton’s war chest. As of June, the former secretary of State had received $2.2 million from donors who also gave to Republican candidates during the primary — while Donald Trump has received about $600,000 less from such donors. If the Republican primary proved anything, it’s that donors cannot buy elections; but a large war chest always helps.

Indeed, The Donald has received money from a smaller proportion of his party’s donors than any candidate since 1980, The Times reported. In 2012, more than 25 percent of donors to Tim Pawlenty’s campaign also contributed to the nominee, Mitt Romney. Only 2 percent of primary donors had given to Trump’s campaign by July.

Nevertheless, Trump’s fundraising numbers have increased recently. After his first email pitch in June, the campaign raised $20 million, mostly from contributions smaller than $200. In July, Trump and the Republican National Committee reported raising $82 million, most of it coming from small donations.

This has not assuaged the doubters, however. There exists a movement within the Republican Party to replace Trump as the nominee. This effort is unlikely to succeed, as is the belated presidential campaign of CIA veteran Evan McMullen.

The problem with conservative/Republican Trump opponents is the same as it has been since last July — they’re divided. Millennials oppose The Donald, but are more likely to support Gary Johnson. Establishment Republicans find themselves divided between just accepting Clinton or perhaps embracing McMullen.

Social conservatives may end up heeding the advice of Supreme Court alarmists — despite this excellent National Review article by Ian Tuttle — and lining up behind The Donald. This election is getting harder and harder to predict, but if polls are any indication, Clinton has a substantial edge.