For the last several months, the Republican National Committee and its chairman, Reince Preibus, have sat by and watched Donald Trump take the party and flush it down the Whites Only toilet. But everyone has a breaking point and Preibus seems to have finally found his:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told Donald Trump in a phone call last week that if he doesn’t turn his flailing campaign around, the national party may shift its focus from his candidacy to down-ballot races, according to two GOP officials briefed on the exchange.
The officials said Priebus described to Trump internal party polls that show his campaign headed in the wrong direction. Priebus told Trump that he would have been better off had he spent the days since the Republican convention at his Mar-a-Lago Club, officials said.
This will be a disaster of epic proportions for the Trump campaign.
The terrible optics of the Republican Party essentially abandoning its candidate would definitely fire up Trump’s anti-establishment followers, but to everyone else, it would be a sign that Trump cannot win. And a lot of the undecided voters don’t like voting for the losing candidate, a sad, but true fact of American politics.
But even worse than the optics, there’s the fact that Trump has been too lazy and/or incompetent to build a proper national campaign of his own. He’s been relying heavily on the RNC to help with fundraising and local get out the vote efforts. If (when) the RNC withdraws its financial and logistical support, Trump is up a creek without a paddle. Or a canoe. And the creek is filled with piranha.
Trump, of course, swears that there nothing wrong. Trust him!
“Reince Priebus is a terrific guy,” Trump told TIME on Tuesday. “He never said that.” Trump also said that the Republican Party should be grateful for his recent fundraising. “Why would they state that when I am raising millions of dollars for them?” Trump asked, rhetorically.
If I were Preibus and I was weighing the money Trump’s name is bringing in versus the damage he’s doing to the down-ballot races, I’d be cutting my losses and praying I could hold on to the Senate. Add that to the enormous pressure Preibus is under from his own party and despite Trump’s denials, it looks like the RNC is going to be forced to dump Trump.
A final note, if (when) the party cuts Trump loose and refocuses on the state level races, you’re going to see an immediate wave of Republicans distancing themselves from Trump, even if they’ve previously endorsed him. That’s when you’ll know it’s time to stick a fork in Cheeto Jesus.
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