from Bill Still
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Although Karl Rove has been relentless in his denunciations of Donald Trump, Trump’s numbers are now Trumping all other considerations.
Privately, Rove’s super-PAC is now telling its donors – some of the biggest in the United States – not only that Trump can win, but advising them how to best help Republican senators ride his coattails.
The news has started filtering out after Tuesday afternoon’s “investor conference call” among some of the wealthiest Republicans donors in the nation.
The phone call, led by Rove, a pollster, and other Crossroad officials, discussed the latest swing-state polling and electoral map analysis, detailing what needs to happen for Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election and provide sufficient coattails to pull threatened Senate incumbents along with him to victory.
The bottom line is, yes, Trump seems increasingly inevitable to win the Republican nomination, but the paths to the Presidency are also growing wider as Clinton is seen as an extremely weak and vulnerable opponent.
Representatives for the Koch brothers’ group said Tuesday’s call represented the first significant shift towards Trump.
“[It’s a] softening of the anti-Trump position.”
One major donor to both Crossroads and an anti-Trump super PAC said he would be ok if Crossroads jumped to Trump. Minnesota media mogul Stanley S. Hubbard said:
“They have no choice but to be OK with him if he is the nominee. What are they going to do? Back Hillary Clinton?”
In the last week, some of the most extreme elements of establishment Republicans have hinted at just that – saying they would rather vote for Hillary than Trump. These would most likely be the leaders of the Congressional bribery merry-go-round.
But Tuesday’s conference call may signal that this kind of talk is about to come to screeching halt.
The Stop Trump crowd was enraged with this latest turn of events.
Crossroads spokesman Ian Prior tried to reassure them that the group is still officially neutral in the GOP presidential primary race and tried to explain the new position:
“There has been a hardening narrative from the media and others that Hillary Clinton can start planning her inaugural ball — that is simply false and we believed it was important to communicate that to our supporters,” he said.
“What we have in fact seen is that there is such intense dislike and distrust of Hillary among the general electorate that the presidential race will be close, regardless of the GOP nominee.”
I’m Still reporting from Washington. Good day.