Tom Steyer isn’t giving away his millions to some stranger. He’s building his own political apparatus (both a super PAC and a nonprofit, of course) from scratch. Michael Bloomberg is executing the same do-it-yourself strategy. So are a growing number of big donors who are rejecting the established old guard. Some of these mega-donors have grown disillusioned; some have narrow agendas; others just think they know better.
— One of these solo super PAC practitioners is John Jordan, the wine executive who funded the $1.4 million super PAC that failed to defeat Sen. Ed Markey (D) in last year’s Massachusetts special election. Count Jordan, the subject a magazine profile in this week’s National Journal, among the disillusioned. He’d been a “seven-figure” Crossroads contributor but said, “With Crossroads, all you got was Karl Rove would come and do his little rain dance.”
— Jordan’s latest venture: Helping fund $250,000 (and counting) in worth of ads for pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R), a candidate many Republicans believe could give Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) a real race in Oregon.
— And for those thinking that the McCutcheon Supreme Court decision might shift substantial power back to the political parties, think again. “It is a tempest in a teapot in terms of practical politics,” Jordan says. That’s because the big, unlimited money remains outside money.
What’s most interesting about Jordan and donors like him is that because of the rise in DIY activity, money is increasingly not just beyond the party’s grasp, but the broader establishment’s as well, as more and more donors go it alone.
— Shane Goldmacher
What We're Following See More »
With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."