Donald Trump-fueled tumult in the Republican presidential race is prompting some major donors to abandon the field for now and instead funnel resources into downballot races.
Some key political groups dedicated to promoting Republican congressional candidates say they’re seeing interest from donors who would otherwise be focused on the presidential race.
Ian Prior, a spokesman for the conservative Senate Leadership Fund super PAC and One Nation, a nonprofit group that also focuses on the Senate, told the Center for Public Integrity in an email that “there have certainly been consistent concerns with the tenor and tone of the Republican nominating process."
Consequently, Prior continued, “the fight to keep the Senate has become one where there has been increased interest, focus, and attention from the donor community.”
The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, has so far reported raising about $13.8 million during the 2015-2016 election cycle. One Nation does not disclose its donors.
Scott Reed, a senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which doesn’t intervene in presidential elections but spent tens of millions of dollars to influence the 2014 midterm congressional elections, said: “While $200 million has been spent supporting GOP Presidential candidates that did not make it to the final three, many big donors are recognizing the importance of keeping the Senate pro-growth — and serving as the final backstop to confirm or reject federal regulators and judges.”