Will Donald Trump's GOP overtake the Senate

Trump wants to get the Republicans' money tap

The former president knows that this will allow him to maintain his influence in the party. He wants to be able to punish unfaithful dissidents - even if this should do more harm than good to the party.

"Who pays, commands" - that is a slogan that does not need to be explained to the New York construction lions Donald Trump. The former president has redirected the flow of money from Republican donors away from the party's traditional campaign vehicles to his Save America political action committee in recent days. This gives him influence where it hurts the most: He can then decide which candidates he wants to support in election campaigns, even during the party's internal qualifications.

Away from mega donors

It's a role that big mega-donors took on not so long ago. Influential figures such as the Koch brothers from the industrial group of the same name or the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson were each able to determine almost on their own whether someone could launch a successful campaign in the Grand Old Party (GOP). But with Trump's entry into politics, the way the Republican Party raises money has also changed.

America's richest donors have defected to the Democrats. According to a compilation by Forbes magazine, around 25 percent of the wealthiest supported the candidate Joe Biden, while only 14 percent supported Trump. While the Republican had a head start in this class of mega-donors for a few months, Biden overtook him at halfway through the race in March 2020. By November he had 230 billionaire donations in his coffers, while Trump had 133.

Trump, like Bernie Sanders on the left side of the political spectrum, switched to smaller donations, potentiated with a much broader base. The trend accelerated even after the election, when major financiers and companies acknowledged Trump's baseless allegations of electoral fraud by closing the money tap. As the Reuters agency showed using Senator Josh Hawley and Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene as an example, the storming of the Capitol by a violent mob of Trump supporters did not damage the fundraising spirit in the base, but, on the contrary, drove it to new heights.

Hawley, who led the maneuver against certification of the Senate election results on Epiphany, raised $ 970,000 in January, up from $ 120,000 in the same month last year. Before Greene lost her seat on two House committees on February 4 because of earlier statements, she was pelted with a real golden shower. She made $ 175,000 in a single day.

UNREAL! $ 175,000 !!

Thank you to every single America First Patriot who donated to protect my Congressional seat from the Democrat mob.

They are attacking me because I'm one of you.

We will not back down. We will never give up!

Sign your statement of support: Text MTG to 55444

- Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 4, 2021

While the Republican Party loudly complains about the alleged “cancel culture” of the left, Trump wants to “free” the party from dissident elements in exactly the same way. Political strategists have long been able to point out that the broadest possible coalition of interest groups increases the chances of voting. Trump feels personally attacked by the forces that hold him responsible for losses in the last election and - with the promotion of conspiracy theories and radical extremists - for a squalor in political mores. And when Trump feels attacked, he strikes back, regardless of loss.

On the one hand, he has already put a number of congressmen and senators on the list of those who are to be singled out in the party primaries by supporters of his America-First policy. Because the party's campaign organizations and their congressional offshoots are at least theoretically independent and support candidates according to their electoral chances, not according to their loyalty to Trump, the former president briefly rattled the saber: His lawyer forbade the Republican National Committee ( RNC, Party Secretariat), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (Senate) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (House of Representatives) to collect donations with the name or picture of Trump.

No money for "Rinos"

Obviously this was not really meant seriously, but at the same time the former president urged his supporters to directly support the "Save America" ​​action committee, which he himself controls. This is the only way, Trump emphasized, that “false Republicans” can be punished. He resorted to a formulation that became popular after the Tea Party revolt: Anyone who was not radical enough as a Republican official was decried as "Rino", as "Republican in name only" (Republicans in name only). As prominent Republicans learned, it was often tantamount to a political death sentence.