Money Flows Down Ballot as Donald Trump Is Abandoned by Big Donors

NICHOLAS CONFESSORE AND RACHEL SHOREY

Friday, October 28, 2016Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 10.17.06

Good Friday morning.
With Donald J. Trump facing a potential rout at the hands of Hillary Clinton, a river of cash from some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors has begun to flow down to Senate and House races in the final days of the 2016 campaign.
Disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday revealed tens of millions of dollars in late donations and transfers to Republican “super PACs” focused on down-ballot races, suggesting a significant last-ditch effort to protect Senate and House candidates against Mrs. Clinton’s surge. Relatively little new money has come to outside groups supporting Mr. Trump.
And Mr. Trump appears to have lost the support of his biggest donor: himself.
Mr. Trump contributed no cash and just $31,000 worth of rent and staff salaries to his campaign in the first three weeks of October, a tiny fraction of his $2 million a month in self-funding after he won the Republican presidential nomination.
As of mid-October, according to the disclosure, Mrs. Clinton was raising an average of $2.8 million a day and had $62 million in her campaign account, four times as much as Mr. Trump.
“I hear that people are concerned that Hillary’s going to be president, so you’d better get Republicans in the Senate so you have a firewall,” said Stanley Hubbard, a Minnesota billionaire who became one of the country’s biggest donors to groups supporting the Trump campaign this year. “I think people are done giving. It’s too late.”
Thursday’s filings are a clear sign that the Republican establishment has all but abandoned Mr. Trump — a painful concession that Mrs. Clinton’s electoral advantage may be insurmountable.
In the first three weeks of October, ESA Fund, a super PAC tied to the family of Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder, took in $5.5 million, more than half of it from Mr. Ricketts’s wife, Marlene. The group’s advertising in that time focused on the Senate races in Louisiana and New Hampshire, and on a House race in Nevada.
And the Senate Leadership Fund, a group closely tied to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, took in $18 million during the first three weeks of October, much of it transferred from an affiliated nonprofit group that does not disclose its donors. Thursday night, the group announced that it had taken in an astonishing $25 million in the past week; the source of that money will remain secret until after Election Day.
From left, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Ms. Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, at the second presidential debate on Oct. 9.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
CAMPAIGN MEMO
By AMY CHOZICK

The messages paint a detailed portrait of Ms. Clinton as she set about her goal of “protecting my father and the nonprofit status” of the Clinton Foundation.

A Trump rally Wednesday in Kinston, N.C.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
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Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama at a campaign rally Thursday at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
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Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton at his inauguration as governor of Arkansas in 1983.

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On the Trail

Mr. Trump has rallies in Maine, New Hampshire and Iowa, while Mike Pence will be in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Mrs. Clinton has two events in Iowa, and Tim Kaine will be in Florida.
There are 11 days until Election Day.
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Donald Trump Campaign Accused of ‘Voter Suppression,’ but It’s Legal

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The candidate’s team dismissed concerns over a reported effort to reduce turnout among white liberals, young women and African-Americans who might vote for Hillary Clinton.

Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, was elected to the House in 2000. He is now considered a vulnerable candidate because of his support of Donald J. Trump.

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Mr. Issa, elected to the House in 2000, is one of two California Republicans whose re-election bids are imperiled by their embrace of Donald J. Trump.

Clockwise from top, Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, in his office, which has a patio door and a large conference table.

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A New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll shows the state out of reach for Donald J. Trump, with Mrs. Clinton leading 46 percent to 39 percent in a four-way race.

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What We’re Reading Elsewhere

The Associated Press writes that a poll of Trump supporters shows that a vast majority of them believe that a Clinton victory would mean the results were rigged; The Atlantic looks at how North Carolina’s  voter suppression efforts during the Jim Crow era continue to affect the state’s elections.
The Wall Street Journal details the tactics and rumors discussed at a poll-watchers class conducted by groups supporting Mr. Trump.
Even as she maintains her lead, The Washington Post writes, Mrs. Clinton is “sputtering to the finish line” after news of rising premiums under the Affordable Care Act and reports detailing how an aide to Bill Clinton used the former president’s stature to “leverage donations to the Clinton Foundation.”
The Texas Tribune takes a look at Mr. Trump’s contention that there was vote flipping in the state. Those claims, the Tribune writes, have been found to be without merit.