Trump properties are the hot new spot for GOP fundraisers

Trump National Doral in Miami.
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If you're a Republican candidate looking to throw a fundraising dinner, the location of choice in 2018 is a Trump-branded property.

This was not so four years ago, a McClatchy analysis has determined. In 2014, political fundraisers spent less than $35,000 on events at Trump properties — and that's for the entire two years of the midterm election cycle. Fully $15,000 of that spending came from a single campaign's spending at Mar-a-Lago.

In the 2018 cycle, by contrast, about 125 GOP campaigns and other political organizations have already spent more than $3.5 million at President Trump's properties. That includes spending for catering for fundraising dinners, hotel stays, and especially meals at Trump's hotel restaurant in Washington. "The simple fact is that our supporters and friends are excited when we" host them at a Trump location, a representative of America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, told McClatchy.

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About $800,000 of that $3.5 million in political spending comes from Trump himself. His 2020 campaign has spent almost $700,000 renting space in Trump buildings, plus tens of thousands more on catering and hotel costs. The Republican National Committee, the Republican Governors Association, and the National Republican Senate Committee are major spenders as well.

Unsurprisingly, Democratic campaigns and organizations have steered clear.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.