RNC TV ad spending for Trump: $0, by Kenneth Vogel.
The Republican National Committee insists that it’s doing everything in its power to elect Donald Trump, but as Trump gets clobbered on the TV airwaves by his well-funded Democratic rival, the RNC has been conspicuously absent.
A POLITICO analysis of campaign finance records reveals that the committee has not spent anything on commercials boosting Trump since he emerged as the party’s likely nominee.
That’s a stark departure from recent elections. In 2008 and 2012, the RNC spent tens of millions of dollars on so-called independent expenditures — principally TV ads, but also direct mail and phone banks — supporting its nominees or attacking their Democratic rivals.
The lack of air cover has prompted grumbling from Trump aides and allies, many of whom believe that the RNC was never fully supportive of their candidate and that it’s now turning its back completely on the anti-establishment nominee as his poll numbers crater.
“The Democrats have an unprecedented and lopsided advertising advantage in this race like we have never seen before, and it is having a serious and negative effect,” said Curt Anderson, a former RNC political director who is helping a pro-Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now. “It is possible that Trump has sealed his fate at this point, but it is still a terrible mistake not to have $50 million dollars of advertising from the Republican Party exposing Hillary Clinton and keeping her numbers down,” said Anderson, who helped to lead the RNC’s independent expenditure effort in 2004 and 2008.