Companies worry Trump-led convention could hurt brands

Company representatives and association heads have already begun huddling with their D.C.-based consultants about whether they should rethink their convention plans if Trump wins the GOP nomination. Several Republican lobbyists and consultants said there is concern that associating with the real estate mogul — given some of his inflammatory comments about women and minorities — could turn off customers and damage corporate brands.

“If it is him, many will scale down activity,” said one Republican lobbyist who has held conference calls about the so-called Trump factor.

With Trump leading recent polls in Iowa and dominating national surveys, C-suite executives and their advisers are taking him more seriously and working through possible contingency plans. Politico spoke with nine Republican lobbyists and consultants who confirmed that there are ongoing discussions about how to handle a Trump convention. They asked not to be named to avoid antagonizing the potential nominee.

Concern within the business community isn’t uniform. Other company and trade group representatives said their convention activities are proceeding as planned, whether the nominee is Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or someone else. A GOP spokesman said no worries have bubbled up to party officials.