Over at National Review I break it to my fellow #NeverTrumpers that the RNC is not going to “pull the plug” on the Trump campaign. But what’s far more important than the public posture is what happens behind the scenes:
So no, the RNC isn’t going to “cut Trump off.” But it’s instructive to consider where the committee is putting its cash to begin with. The national party isn’t stockpiling cash for a big media blitz down the stretch like its congressional-campaign counterparts. The money is paying for field staff and setting up victory offices. It’s going toward mailers, campaign literature, and chasing down absentee ballots. These are shared, mutually beneficial investments for the good of the entire ticket. The question isn’t whether to do these things, it’s where to deploy the effort. And that’s the key: Triage isn’t punitive, it’s a function of scarcity, efficacy, and allocation.
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NYT’s Nick Confessore looks at the Trump campaign’s reliance on the RNC:
Some Republicans believe that with the fall campaign weeks away, the party should focus its money and efforts down ballot to protect Republicans’ congressional base. That would mean quietly ignoring Mr. Trump’s call this month for a 50-state field operation and instead emphasizing congressional districts and swing states that are also Senate and House battlegrounds.
“They can’t do anything publicly — you can’t rebuke your nominee,” said Liam P. Donovan, a former aide to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “But you could allocate resources to places where it helps up and down the ballot.”
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CNN’s Teddy Schleifer looks at the shake-up in the Trump high command and its impact on the GOP donor world.
The cost of that move? Reviving concerns about Trump’s willingness to do what is needed to win.
“The first response would be ‘who?’ And the second a realization that he has no intention of even making this thing particularly close,” said Liam Donovan, a former GOP finance official who has been sharply critical of Trump.
“I think the message conveyed — that Manafort was reining him in and this is a return to letting Trump be Trump — will spook people who have been waiting for the pivot that never comes.”
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