President Donald Trump has raised an impressive $106 million during his campaign, but some Republican candidates have grown unhappy with how much the president has stockpiled in favor of his own run for re-election in 2020 rather than supporting GOP candidates in the 2018 midterm election, according to Newsweek. Of the $106 million raised, the president has retained $47 million for himself. Additionally, President Trump’s joint committees (Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again) have sent less than 40 percent of their funds to national and state Republican campaign committees while sending over 60 percent to the Trump campaign.
The 2018 midterms appear to be a hotly contested election. FiveThirtyEight projects that Democrats have better than an 80 percent chance to win a majority in the House of Representatives, though Republicans are projected to have almost an equal chance to retain their Senate majority. President Trump’s administration will need to maintain a Congressional majority to implement his policies, and losing the House majority could create a difficult environment for President Trump moving forward.
Republican strategist Alex Conant reflected the dismay of key candidates hoping for more campaign help from the White House.
“Helping Congressional Republicans hasn’t really been a priority for Trump until the last few weeks. Nobody faults him for raising money for his re-election campaign, but if Democrats win it may be the most costly fundraising a president has ever done.”
President Trump contends that the criticism is unfounded.
“I will say we have had a very big impact. I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact. They would say in the old days that if you got the support of a president or if you’ve got the support of somebody that it would be nice to have, but it meant nothing, zero. Like literally zero. Some of the people I’ve endorsed have gone up 40 and 50 points just on the endorsement.”
Democrat House candidates have drastically outperformed the Republican competitors in fundraising leading up to the midterms. According to The New York Times, Democrats have raised $36 million more than their rivals. To win a House majority, Democrats need to flip at least 23 Republican seats.
Democratic candidates for the Senate, however, have a much steeper hill to climb as they would have to defend 26 seats while also unseating two Republican candidates of the five who are considered vulnerable.
“The president is concerned with keeping his power, and part of his power is the money, and the small donors,” said President Trump’s senior political adviser Sam Nunberg. “It was important for the president to build this massive operation for his re-election to demonstrate that it would be a fool’s errand for anyone inside the party to try to primary him, and because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the House with a possible impeachment.”