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Trump's Serious Primary Opponents Are All Running Out Of Money

Who'll Be The First To Call It Quits? Tim Scott? Pence?



One of Trump’s primary strategies was to encourage as many not-Trump opponents as possible, so that there was no chance for the electorate to coalesce behind any single not-Trump candidate. It’s been working well, even as Republican establishment types have been urging the field to self-winnow. Nationally, the latest right-of-center RealClearPolitics polling average shows Trump continuing to gain ground against the rest of the sputtering field:

  • Trump- 58.1% (50.3 in Iowa, 45.0 in New Hampshire)

  • DeSantis- 13.1% (17.3 in Iowa, 10.4 in New Hampshire)

  • Haley- 7.7% (9.5 in Iowa, 14.2 in New Hampshire)

  • Ramaswamy- 6.0% (6.0 in Iowa, 7.2 in New Hampshire)

  • Pence- 3.8% (3.5 in Iowa, 1.4 in New Hampshire)

  • Christie- 2.8% (2.0 in Iowa, 9.0 in New Hampshire)

  • Scott- 2.0% (6.0 in Iowa, 4.6 in New Hampshire)

  • Burgum- 0.8% (1.8 in Iowa, 1.8 in New Hampshire)

  • Hutchinson- 0.6% (0.3 in Iowa, 0.8 in New Hampshire)

Why are they even bothering? Some are looking for a job (especially Ramaswamy) or a national spotlight. Christie may be doing it just because he hates Trump so much. But the battle for second place was always about what if:

  • What if Trump dies

  • What if Trump says something disqualifying

  • What if compelling evidence comes out about treason

  • What if Trump goes to prison

And it’s easy to run on someone else’s dime (or if, like Burgum, you’re a billionaire out for a thrill). But the money is drying up now. Some of the biggest Republican Party fat cats— like Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, Joe Ricketts and Stephen Schwarman— have shut their wallets in the search for a viable not-Trump. They’ve concluded that no amount of money is going to defeat him. (But not all far right fat cats; Robert Bigelow gave $20 million to DeSantis' super PAC Never Back Down and Wisconsin neo-Nazi Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein gave DeSantis over $2 million. Oracle’s Larry Ellison, another far right crackpot, gave $30 million to Tim Scott’s Super PAC, which is basically the only reason Scott is still running. Although, that campaign is definitely sputtering out. TimPAC has canceled all scheduled advertising. PAC co-chair Rob Collins, in a memo to donors: “We are doing what would be obvious in the business world but will mystify politicos— we aren’t going to waste our money when the electorate isn’t focused or ready for a Trump alternative. Never-Trump field is going to be wasting money this fall trying to undermine Trump’s current lead. This electorate is locked up and money spent on mass media isn’t going to change minds until we get a lot closer to voting.”



Scott may be contemplating ending a campaign that has been in free-fall since voters made up their minds after his weak performance at the first debate, but he’s not the only one in belt-tightening mode. DeSantis’ campaign is struggling was more and more voters and donors get to know him— and dislike him. Nor can I see how Pence can go much further. He’s going to have to start looking for an actual job. Yesterday, Trip Gabriel reported about his campaign’s perilous financial state. Gabriel wrote that “a campaign finance report that Pence filed over the weekend painted a dire picture. The former vice president had just $1.2 million in his campaign account, a skimpier reserve than any of the six Republican rivals he shared a debate stage with last month. Pence has struggled to achieve the goal he announced when he rolled out his campaign in June— to ‘reintroduce’ himself to voters as his own man, allowing him to step out from the shadow of Trump. He has defined himself as a Reagan-era conservative in a party that has largely turned its back on that era: He argues for aid to Ukraine to voters who are isolationist, exudes civility when the base hungers for confrontation and defends his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, while a majority of Republicans falsely believe or suspect that the 2020 election was stolen.”


Pence raised $3.3 million in the first quarter but spent even more than that and has a $620,000 debt, a debt unlikely to ever be repaid. “Pence’s meager bank account could limit his ability to travel widely or to spend money on persuading voters. After paying $14,400 for digital ads in September, the Pence campaign has bought just $400 of digital ads in October, according to AdImpact, a media-tracking firm.” So far just DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy have qualified for the third debate. That would bet a death knell for Pence’s campaign.



Throughout his race, Pence has relied on a super PAC funded by wealthy supporters, Committed to America, to organize voter outreach in Iowa and to pay for television ads. But there are signs of donor fatigue as Trump increasingly pulls away from the rest of the GOP field and acquires an aura of inevitability. The Pence super PAC has sharply cut back advertising since the summer. In a memo to donors late last month, the group’s executive director, Bobby Saparow, struck an urgent note: “Every day is critical at this point. This race needs to be shaken up, and soon.”
Bill Bean, a real estate developer from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who has contributed about $250,000 to groups supporting Pence, said he was ‘disappointed’ in how the race has played out, but added that neither he nor his friend Pence were ready to give up. ‘Until he feels the American people send him the message they’re not interested, he’s going to stay out there doing what he needs to do,’ Bean said.
…[Pence] has not overcome the contradiction at the core of his candidacy: For anti-Trump Republicans, he was subservient to Trump for far too long, and for Trump supporters willing to consider an alternative, he was not subservient enough on Jan. 6, when he balked at Trump’s demand that he nullify Biden’s election while overseeing the ceremonial count of Electoral College votes.
Pence is expected to be a major witness in Trump’s federal trial on charges of attempting to subvert the 2020 election. A partial gag order that Judge Tanya Chutkan issued bars Trump from criticizing Pence for his role in the case, though it allows him to attack the candidacy of his former No. 2.

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3 Comments


Guest
Oct 19, 2023

"What if Trump says something disqualifying

What if compelling evidence comes out about treason"


what if whoever is asking these would wake the fuck up? Both of these ships already sailed and his voters love him even more because of it.


"Scott may be contemplating ending a campaign that has been in free-fall since voters made up their minds after his weak performance at the first debate"


I think what you meant is that scott will have to drop out because in the first debate, nazi voters discovered he is BLACK!!!


Everything you say about pence is true. In addition, and this isn't normally DQing, but he's also a fucking moron. And he has all the charisma and charm …


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Guest
Oct 20, 2023
Replying to

If you're writing about our bipartisan zionists because you are simply antisemitic, please stop reading here.


You are correct that electoral "votes" don't change dick in this shithole... but the reason needs to be repeated. It's because too few voters (like about .7%) know this and still try.

Last presidential cycle, astonishingly, 81 million voted against trump (only1 m did not vote for democraps). However, their votes were all wasted on democraps, who are the other half of the fascist governing body.

Another perhaps 80 million who could have... did not vote.


What I keep asking to deaf ears: Why can't the 160 million coalesce around a useful ballsy anti-fascist movement and permanently relegate the nazi party to ratfucking 1…


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