- Donors can now give nearly $550,000
- Trump has remained competitive with Hillary Clinton primarily due to his online fundraising operation
Trump Victory, the high-dollar fundraising committee that is the vehicle for Donald Trump to raise money for national and state Republican parties, has added 10 new state GOPs to the contract. The main consequence: Republicans can now give up to nearly $550,000 to Trump Victory -- almost $100,000 more than they could have given when the agreement included just 11 states.
Despite widespread hesitation from top Republican donors to support Trump's bid, he has remained competitive with Hillary Clinton primarily due to an online fundraising operation that has exceeded expectations. Yet Trump's newfound strength in recent polls could encourage those who have been disinclined to contribute to finally do so.
Which states are included matters little: While the cash must go to the the state GOP's coffers first, parties can transfer the funds to any other state party in unlimited amounts. So presidential candidates tend to include state Republican operations with which they have good relationships and then exert control over which swing-state parties the money is directed to.
Trump Victory earlier this month expanded to include the parties of Alabama, California, Kansas, Minnesota and North Dakota. And on Friday, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina -- all states with competitive Senate races -- joined the agreement, the RNC official said. Each state can accept $10,000.
Yet given the $2,700 contribution limit to federal candidates, a heavy majority of the money raised by Trump Victory will not be directly managed by the Trump campaign. Large chunks of the $550,000 go to RNC accounts that must be spent on overhead costs and cannot be spent on the presidential race.
Clinton has two separate joint fundraising agreements with national and state Democratic parties -- 38 state parties are included, allowing a Democrat to give a maximum of almost $620,000 to Democratic efforts.