Donald Trump is taking one last swing through Texas before becoming the full-anointed, acknowledged and confirmed Republican presidential nominee next month, and it looks like Houston will be a stop on the tour. And the reason behind this sudden jaunt to Houston and two other major Texas cities is as simple as can be: It's all about campaign cash, of course.
The details about the three-city campaign tour are still pretty sparse. Trump is heading to Dallas next week on June 16 for a fundraiser, and he may throw in a campaign rally while he's at it, according to the Dallas Morning News. The next day it's expected he'll make stops in San Antonio and Houston, with the main focus of the trip being to garner campaign donations.
This makes a certain amount of sense since Trump still hasn't really managed to tap into the pocketbooks of wealthy conservative donors in the Lone Star State. While Sen. Ted Cruz netted up about $21 million from Texas campaign donors and Hillary Clinton, the main Democratic presidential nominee, has scored about $8.6 million in donations from Texans, Trump hasn't done as well, according to last month's results from the Federal Election Commission. The New York mogul-turned-joke-presidential-nominee-turned-nominee-presumptive has only collected about $361,000 so far.
The lack of donations hasn't apparently been a problem for Trump up until recently though. He's actually run a fairly modest campaign and has raised about $57 million and spent about $55 million in his efforts to secure the GOP nod. By contrast, Clinton's campaign alone has raised more than $204 million, spent about $174 million and has about $30 million on hand in cash. Meanwhile, Trump has about $2.4 million in ready cash. Since he's about to face off against Clinton and her formidable war chest, of course he's about to pop up in Texas to try and get some actual financial backing from Texas Republicans.
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Trump was last in Texas when he made a campaign appearance in February in Fort Worth just before he lost the March 1 Texas Republican primary to Cruz. Now, Trump will be coming to town with an uncontested win in the California primary under his belt, giving him some comfortable electoral vote padding. And we're betting his solidifying status as the guy the GOP has to vigorously rally around will help fatten up his campaign fund.
Even while Trump is tightening his hold on the Republican presidential nod and looking to freshen up his campaign coffers, he's also showing up in Texas just as he's getting extra scrutiny for comments he made about the federal judge with Mexican heritage, Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing two class-action lawsuits against Trump University. Trump claims the Indiana-born judge, Curiel, has an inherent conflict of interest in the case because of Curiel's Mexican heritage and that big wall Trump wants to build.
So now Texas Republicans, the sorts that make campaign donations, have some thinking to do. Will they ignore comments described by members of their own party as "racist" or will they smile, look past it and write checks to the orange guy, since he's their only shot at stopping Clinton from getting the White House?
Decisions are the worst, especially when the odds are good that we all know exactly how this is going to play out.