Republicans lose their greatest online fundraising tool: Trump
The former President’s re-election bid puts “neutral” party committees, groups in a tough spot
Donald Trump’s name and image have been the single biggest fundraising draw for Republican committees and candidates over the past 2 years. Now that he has officially declared his presidential candidacy for 2024, Republican online fundraisers are facing a major reckoning.
Official GOP entities like the Republican National Committee (RNC) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) have sent hundreds of emails and run thousands of fundraising ads using the former president’s name. On sites like Facebook, Google, and YouTube, these groups have wished Trump a happy birthday, run polls about his prospective candidacy, promoted his social media platform and recruited “Trump Life Members” - all with the hopes of raising small-dollar donations.
These emails and ads have formed the foundation of many successful Republican digital fundraising programs over the past few years. However, with numerous GOP candidates rumored to seek the White House in 2024, the party has vowed to remain neutral - a policy that is explicit in the Republican National Committee’s bylaws. That means online fundraisers at the committee and potentially other organizations now have to walk a fine line between mentioning the former President as a historic figure vs. appearing to endorse his campaign…