The four-day festival that will make Donald Trump the Republican nominee has run into serious red ink — and the host committee believes it to be because of the life of the party. Several pledged sponsors have reneged, according to a letter obtained by Politico that the committee sent to megadonor Sheldon Adelson, which left them $6 million in the hole. The letter requests that Adelson cover the shortfall just days before the convention begins:
Millions of dollars short and running out of time, organizers of the Republican National Convention have written an urgent request for $6 million to Las Vegas billionaire couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to cover the bills for next week’s festivities.
In a letter to the Adelsons, obtained by POLITICO, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee revealed the names of more than two dozen prominent corporations and individuals who have reneged on a collective $8.1 million in pledged donations.
The letter represents the most public acknowledgment to date that Donald Trump has directly cost convention organizers millions of fundraising dollars.
“Over the past couple months, negative publicity around our potential nominee resulted in a considerable number of pledges backing out from their commitments,” the letter says.
Be sure to check out Allahpundit’s theory about who leaked the letter. It’s so crazy it just might be true. Heh.
Adelson endorsed Trump earlier in the cycle, so at least they’re barking up the right tree. The committee lost corporate sponsors such as FedEx, and both Coca-Cola and Pepsi — a rather nifty trick, if you think about it. David Koch also pulled out; the Kochs have not made a secret of their distaste for Trump.
That’s $2.6 million of the $6 million shortfall, according to the committee’s pitch to Adelson. The letter also notes that the RNC did raise $58 million of the $64 million needed for the event, and humbly asks Adelson to save them from an embarrassing shortfall by saying, “We would greatly appreciate if you would consider,” etc etc etc. The subtext is pretty clear, though: This is your candidate, and you need to step up.
Adelson’s fortune will more than cover it; his wealth dwarfs that of Trump’s, and he planned on a nine-figure push this cycle anyway. But that’s a lot of money to drop on an event that won’t really pay off much in the end. The Washington Post hosts two data analsyts who argue that it might not even do much to help Trump win Ohio:
So what does our analysis suggest about the 2016 convention sites? We are reluctant to make confident predictions given the unusual features of 2016 — the potential for protests at both conventions, Trump’s unusual candidacy, and the historic unpopularity of the nominees.
But if the past is any guide, the easiest prediction is that the Democrats will see little Electoral College impact from the parts of the Philadelphia media market in safely blue Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. In the swing state of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia media market is the kind of place our analysis suggests the Democrats should pick: heavily Democratic counties in 2008 and 2012 where the convention can mobilize and narrowly Republican counties where the convention may help persuade voters.
By contrast, the RNC’s selection of Cleveland may not help the GOP much. The media market is largely composed of Democratic counties, where we would expect a backlash to a typical Republican convention, and only a few moderate Republican counties where the convention might help the party. If the RNC’s goal was to influence the results in Ohio, the choice of Cleveland provides more risk and less reward than Columbus or Cincinnati.
Cincinnati would have been a much better choice, especially given that Hamilton County had once been more Republican than the state as a whole — and Barack Obama won it twice. It has changed considerably, too, but those changes reflect the need for Republicans to engage on the ground more, as I explained in my book Going Red (Hamilton was one of the seven counties in the book).
If the convention won’t do much for Trump’s fortunes, even in Ohio, then Adelson might not be terribly interested in throwing good money after bad.