New reporting from Axios yesterday revealed that former donors to Pat McCrory’s gubernatorial campaign contributed to Representative Ted Budd after the Trump endorsement. The former president’s endorsement has continued to escalate the GOP primary.
This news comes after a host of current and former North Carolina state legislators, including those who worked with McCrory when he was governor, backed Congressman Ted Budd’s campaign and North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger, who has endorsed McCrory in the past, hosted a fundraiser for Budd’s campaign.
Read more from Axios:
Axios: Flipping for Trump
- Some high-dollar donors to former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory put their money behind Rep. Ted Budd, his U.S. Senate primary opponent, after Donald Trump endorsed Budd this year, records show.
- The former president’s endorsement can be literal currency in Republican primary fights. The shifting allegiances between McCrory and Budd illustrate how Trump can single-handedly alter not just support but the money race in high-profile political fights.
- David Congdon, the executive chairman of trucking giant Old Dominion Freight Line, gave the legal maximum to McCrory’s primary campaign in April, according to Federal Election Commission records.
- In general, a Trump endorsement has the ability to affect voters’ and donors’ thinking in several ways.
- He remains immensely popular among Republicans, who may be inclined to vote for his preferred candidates out of loyalty or a belief he has the party’s best interests at heart.
- For that reason, a Trump endorsement also makes a GOP primary candidate more viable — and donors in particular tend to gravitate toward candidates with better odds of winning.
- The ex-president’s notorious aversion to perceived disloyalty also may sway would-be candidates, donors and campaign workers concerned about drawing his or his political team’s ire.
- Trump’s political sway is most apparent within the grassroots, and the North Carolina Senate primary has seen some smaller voters switch allegiances after Trump’s endorsement.
- One retiree from Cashiers, North Carolina, chipped in $250 to McCrory in April. Four days after Trump backed Budd, she gave him twice as much.
- Another retiree from Sanibel, Florida, gave $300 to McCrory in May. A month later, after Trump’s endorsement, he gave the same sum to Budd.
- Both people donated to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns.
- Looking ahead: Most of Trump’s GOP primary endorsements this year have come during the past few months, and any additional effect on donor loyalties will be more apparent in campaigns’ third-quarter fundraising numbers.