Republican donors this week began opening their wallets for presumptive nominee Donald Trump, warming to the upstart candidate to increase the odds of defeating presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton come November.
Trump’s conservative credentials were burnished by the release of his list of 11 possible Supreme Court nominees, getting a thumbs-up from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has yet to declare unequivocally he will support the New York real estate mogul amid lingering concerns over Trump’s shifting stands on issues.
Ryan isn’t the only lawmaker who has remained reticent on an endorsement. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday an effort to field a third-party candidate still is quietly underway.
Trump, who eschewed fundraising in his primary fight, primarily loaning himself $36 million, has started raking in super PAC cash. Great America PAC filed an unusual Federal Election Commission report this week, the Hill reported, claiming the bulk of its donations came in at less than $200.
The super PAC said it raised $513,606 in April, more than 80 percent of which came in as small donations that do not have to be itemized. The Hill called the filing “unprecedented.” In its February filing, the super PAC listed only 22 percent of its donations at less than $200.
The FEC filing showed Great America PAC with just $65,236 in cash on hand, a far cry from the $47 million Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC backing former Secretary of State Clinton, reported having on hand. The group has raised $76 million, $8.6 million in April alone, the New York Times reported.
That hasn’t stopped Trump from jumping right in.
Despite the war chest, Clinton cannot yet turn her full attention to Trump. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has yet to fold his campaign and, indeed, has vowed to remain in the contest until the last ballots are cast in California on June 7.
Sanders from the get-go has complained the party rigged the nominating process to favor Clinton, and his supporters have been showing increasing displeasure with the process, last week causing a melee at the Nevada Democratic state convention and conjuring up hashtags complaining about national party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman Schultz told CNN Sanders’ response has been “anything but acceptable” for not condemning his supporters’ actions.
“The rules governing the Democratic Party delegate selection process have been in place for decades, and the specific procedures for this cycle were agreed upon in 2014,” she said in a statement Tuesday.
Several liberal groups have started online petitions calling on Wasserman Schultz to resign as party leader.