Republican donors and strategists turn to down-ballot races

As it becomes increasingly clear that Donald Trump will lose on Election Day, many large conservative donors, skittish about the Republican presidential nominee, are focusing on down-ballot races, or instead, have contributed to the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Those who oppose Clinton are hoping to minimize her impact on policy should she become president.

Renowned hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller disclosed to Reuters that he has donated to Congressional Republicans to “firewall” Clinton’s economic proposals, which include expanding the Affordable Care Act, and what he describes as “astronomical disincentives” to invest.

“I might just vote on the down ballot part of the ticket and not bother with the top,” said Druckenmiller.

Republicans, who were originally in a good position to maintain control of the Senate, have seen races tighten across the country this fall. Now many party strategists and GOP donors are scrambling to spend money and time in the right places.

Senate races are close in seven states: Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, New Hampshire and Nevada. Six of these are controlled by Republicans who currently enjoy a 54 to 46 seat advantage.

According to the latest Senate polling averages in those states, GOP candidates lead in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Missouri.

Yesterday at a campaign event in Florida, Trump made a rare mention of down-ballot races. The New York real estate mogul encouraged voters to elect GOP legislators to help him enact his preferred policies. Some Republicans locked in dead heat races, however, would probably prefer if Trump ignored congressional elections altogether. Many have blamed the businessman’s volatile campaigning strategy for their difficult election bids.

While the same anti-Trump effect has influenced House races, Democrats have an uphill, and unlikely, battle to regain control. However, Republicans are still expecting to lose a few seats that were once safe.


[Washington Post] [Reuters] [Wall Street Journal] [NBC News] [National Public Radio] [The Monitor] [RealClear Politics] [Image courtesy Angelo Merendino/Getty Images via ABC News]