Donald Trump deserts GOP as Democrats hope to win 7 Senate seats and try to flip the House

He's somehow found enough cash to finally outspend Hillary Clinton on television ads, however

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 26, 2016 2:35PM (EDT)

Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell   (AP/Reuters/Yuri Gripas/Jonathan Ernst/J. Scott Applewhite)
Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell (AP/Reuters/Yuri Gripas/Jonathan Ernst/J. Scott Applewhite)

Just as the Cook Political Report reported Tuesday that Democrats are poised to win up to seven seats in the Senate this cycle, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has reportedly halted his fundraising on behalf of the Republican Party.

The Washington Post reported that with lagging poll numbers in several key battleground states and left campaigning in traditionally safer Republican districts, an embattled Trump has decided to not appear in-person for any more high-dollar fundraisers with Trump Victory, the joint fundraising committee between the party and the campaign.

Although one unnamed campaign official pushed back against the Post report in an interview with NBC News late Tuesday, the official did characterize Trump’s decision to no longer "fly-in" for fundraisers as a slowdown.

Trump’s decision to pull back on his already lacking fundraising efforts come at the most inopportune time for down-ballot Republicans.

Cook Political Report's Senate analyst Jennifer Duffy explained on Tuesday that there will likely be an anti-Trump wave during this election that will sweep even Republicans who attempt to run away from the imploding candidate at the top of the ticket.

"For much of the cycle, we have expected Democrats to score a net gain of between four and six seats. Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania where Clinton has established a lead," Duffy wrote.

If Clinton were to win the White House, Democrats would need only four seats to win control of the chamber. 

And, if a Democratic-controlled Senate and Clinton White House weren’t enough to scare Republicans, a pro-Clinton super PAC is now trying to do something that, in 2015, was considered impossible: A Democratic takeover of the House. 

Priorities USA is targeting vulnerable GOP House members after earlier going after Trump-supporting Senate Republicans in a series of ads.


While the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report published last Friday only predicted Democrats picking up eight to 15 seats, well short of the 30 needed to win control of the House, Priorities USA is making a last-minute pitch to Iowa voters.

“Rod Blum still supports Trump today and even attacked Republicans who spoke out against Trump,” the super PAC’s ad targeting Republican freshman Rod Blum said:

Meanwhile, as Trump has left Republicans high and dry, his campaign has finally found enough cash to outspend Clinton on television advertising for the first time this cycle with less than two weeks until election day.  

So, as Politico reported Wednesday, GOP leadership encouraged lawmakers already current on their NRCC “dues” to donate directly to vulnerable incumbents in need of a boost during a call with select House Republicans last week.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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