Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump in South Dakota… in fundraising. According to Christopher Doering’s reading of FEC reports through the end of July, Clinton has raised $239,000 from South Dakota donors, 2.46 times more than Trump’s $97,000 South Dakota take.
SDGOP exec Ryan Budmayr makes more excuses—Trump was self-funding until convention, Clinton had to work harder to beat Sanders, Republicans since convention are as enthusiastic for Trump as for past nominees—
No, Ryan, they aren’t. Money measures enthusiasm. Your people haven’t given as much to your 2016 nominee as your people gave to McCain in 2008 ($570K) or Romney in 2012 ($1.68M). And as far as your chances for practical victory are concerned (or are you guys privately now just talking about keeping your loss disappointing and not humiliating?), all the signs, hats, and stickers passersby take at the fairs mean far less than the dollars your donors contribute to helping Trump win elsewhere. Your donors, the South Dakota Republicans so engaged they put their hard-earned money on your candidates, are not enthusiastic about Trump.
And why should they be, when Trump can’t stick with a consistent story on even his defining issue, immigration?
By the way, the last cycle in which South Dakota Presidential campaign donors leaned D over R was 1992, the year Bill Clinton won.