Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2016. 
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Trump undermines Republican Party with controversial strategy

A couple of weeks ago, the Republican Party faced crisis conditions. Donald Trump was reeling after a tape emerged of boasting about sexual assault; GOP lawmakers were distancing themselves from their party’s presidential nominee; Trump backers held protests outside Republican National Committee headquarters; and party officials were generally at each other’s throats. A former GOP senator noted, “It’s every person for himself or herself right now.”

As Election Day draws closer, that assessment is even more true now. As Rachel noted on last night’s show, the Washington Post published a scoop that’s almost hard to believe.
Donald Trump’s campaign said Tuesday that it has scheduled no more big-money fundraising events to benefit the Republican Party, another sign of the GOP nominee’s struggling campaign and a serious blow to the party’s get-out-the-vote operations with less than two weeks to go until Election Day.

The consequences of halting major fundraisers will compound the challenges facing a candidate and a party already straining to match Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s much larger and better-financed operation. Unlike Clinton, who has an extensive turnout operation of her own, Trump and many other GOP candidates down the ballot are relying heavily on the Republican National Committee to bring voters to the polls.
With two weeks remaining, Clinton and Democrats are still trying to build as large a financial advantage as possible, not just for the presidential ticket, but to help Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine didn’t have any major rallies scheduled yesterday, but when he sat down with Rachel last night, the interview was scheduled in between five separate fundraisers the senator was headlining just yesterday.

Meanwhile, Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman, told the Post that Trump Victory, a joint fundraising operation intended to benefit the candidate and the party, held its last formal fundraising event on Oct. 19 – three weeks ahead of Election Day – and no additional events are on the calendar.

Mnuchin added that while online donations continue to come in, “We’ve kind of wound down.”

It’s an astonishing strategy, adopted by a Republican presidential nominee who appears increasingly indifferent to his party’s needs.

And with that in mind, Politico reports that others are scrambling to fill the void left by Team Trump’s negligence.
Republicans, on the verge of losing the Senate, are plowing a mammoth $25 million into six races in a last-ditch attempt to stop Donald Trump from dragging the entire GOP down with him.

The investment from Senate Leadership Fund, a powerful super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comes as Democrats shift resources from Hillary Clinton’s now almost certain victory to down-ballot contests in hopes of delivering her a congressional majority.
The money will go towards Senate races in six states: Nevada, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Missouri. Fox News’ Karl Rove reportedly “assisted in the effort to raise the $25 million,” and it’s unclear where the money came from.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 10/25/16, 9:05 PM ET

Trump stops fundraising for GOP but keeps the feelgood rallies

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Donald Trump, Fundraising and Republican Party

Trump undermines Republican Party with controversial strategy