May 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Donald Trump Jr.'s under-the-radar virtual campaign

DOn Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. visits SiriusXM Studios, Feb. 13, New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. has spent his quarantine vacuuming up cash for the GOP.

Here's how the Trump campaign and Congressional candidates have deployed him over the last month:

  • He's hosted an online show called "Triggered" with conservative celebrities like MMA fighter Tito Ortiz.
  • He's held "Virtual MAGA Meet Ups" for voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, California and Florida.
  • He's held Trump campaign "virtual fundraisers" for donors in Nevada, Arkansas and Florida.
  • He's held hunting-themed virtual events for supporters in Wisconsin and New Mexico.
  • The National Republican Senatorial Committee's Jesse Hunt said Don Jr. has been a valuable asset. He's signed fundraising emails for the NRSC, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Sens. Martha McNally (Ariz.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Steve Daines (Mont.).
  • He's also sent out iPhone videos and taped robocalls for House and Senate candidates.

What's next: On Monday, Don Jr. will launch what's called a "Team Page" on the Republican Party's fundraising platform, WinRed. His page, "Don Jr's #MAGA candidates of the week," will direct his followers to donate to his favored House and Senate candidates. The candidates and the Trump campaign will split the cash.

  • Don Jr.'s political adviser Andy Surabian said, "The plan every week is for Don to select a House and Senate 'candidate of the week' to promote on his WinRed Team Page."
  • The first two candidates Don Jr. will trumpet: Sen. David Perdue of Georgia and newly elected Mike Garcia in California's 25th district.

Why it matters: As Joe Biden has admitted, he has some catching up to do when it comes to digital campaigning. The Washington Post's David Weigel recently signed up for alerts from both the Trump and the Biden campaigns, and he concluded that the Trump campaign is running circles around Biden online.

  • This advantage is understandable given the Trump campaign has a formidable four-year head start.
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