There is little question that Trump will not be elected President. The only question remaining is how terrible the damage will be to the Republican Party. It’s a big question because in order to limit that damage the odds that Trump will not survive the convention in July are increasing daily.
It’s not just the horrifically bad poll numbers. It has nothing to do with his campaign manager being fired – that may have been a good thing. Skip over Moody’s analysis that he’d throw us into recession. It has everything to do with his May campaign finance report which demonstrates that there is no functional campaign. There is no money, and a fifth of what was spent went to Trump related businesses.
If there was ever any doubt that this guy is a total fraud, it’s been erased.
The movement to Dump Trump is organizing rapidly. What started as a small group has expanded greatly, with as many as a thousand in on a conference call earlier this week. The group, which appears to be unnamed, is stressing a “convention of conscience”. Their plan for the rules committee to “unbind” the delegates with a “conscience clause” that allows them to vote for anyone else on the first ballot.
The lack of a name to vote for, an actual candidate, is the biggest barrier they have now.
What will certainly fuel this fire is the devastating campaign finance filing for May, which came out after the growth of this movement among delegates. Trump raised only $3.1 million in May, compared to $26 million by Clinton. He has only $1.3 million on hand, compared to $43 million for Clinton.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Of the money he spent in May, a solid fifth of it, over $6 million, went to Trump related businesses for catering and so on. He is out of money not just because he isn’t raising it, he is looting it. Republicans are more than furious about this shocking turn of events for good reason. There isn’t any real bottom to a campaign that is spending more than it takes in already, especially if it is going into the hands of the candidate.
This is particularly devastating for Trump because it eliminates what was perceived to be his greatest strength – that he could self-finance a campaign and be competitive everywhere at once. What we have instead plays directly into the Clinton narrative which has yet to develop – that he is a fraud who isn’t worth much money at all.
Yet to play out is the certification of the RICO lawsuit over Trump University, which will occur on 18 July – the same day the convention starts. The key word describing Trump during this time needs to be “fraud”, something which he has stuck to himself before anyone else could.
The news will indeed only get worse before the convention. We will also have a June finance report by then.
What are the odds that the Republican Convention will indeed Dump Trump? There is no good betting pool on this yet, but there will be soon. I would call it no better than 4:1 against right now, for lack of any better guess. The odds would improve dramatically if there was another potential candidate in the works, assuming his last name isn’t Bush.
Drafting Mitt Romney seems like the easiest way out at this point, so all eyes should be on him.
A move like this, which overturns the primaries, will be devastating for the party. The question has to be whether or not it will be less devastating than allowing the Trump disaster to continue. Any sensible person has to conclude that the potential risk at this point from allowing Trump to continue is completely unacceptable. We are talking about nothing less than the death of the party as a potential outcome.
As one delegate said, “It’s a convention, not a suicide pact.”
Will the Republican Party dump Trump? A few more things have to come in to play, most notably an alternative who can speak for the cause and lead it. Once that happens it is probably only a mater of time. This farce is more than shameful at this point.
As a Democrat, I should reasonably want Trump to continue to November. As an American, nothing is more imperative than putting an end to this now. Republicans, please save yourselves. We need you!