Trumpists Explode Over GOP’s Thirsty-for-Cash Texts

Trumpists Explode Over GOP’s Thirsty-for-Cash Texts

Trumpists Explode Over GOP’s Thirsty-for-Cash TextsRepublicans have erupted over overwrought fundraising appeals from House GOP’s campaign arm, with a spokesman for the group countering that critics of the strategy just need a hug. Dramatically phrased fundraising appeals are not new for either party. But pro-Trump pundits say the National Republican Congressional Committee has gone too far with “urgent” text message pitches warning that supporters are on the verge of letting the party down, saying the pitches talk down to the party’s potential donors.“Hey @NRCC - WTF is wrong with you?” right-wing columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted on Sunday, as part of an ongoing series of complaints about Republican fundraising text messages. Schlichter included a screenshot of an NRCC text message warning the reader would have “1 more chance” to take advantage of a donation matching deal.“We texted you TWICE,” the text message read. “Why did you let your 500% Trump House Patriot match expire AGAIN? We’ll give you 1 more chance. 500% match for 1 HR.”Rather than mollify Schlichter, who has nearly 300,000 followers and a column at popular conservative website Townhall, the NRCC’s Twitter account mocked him. NRCC spokesman Bob Pack tweeted a gif at Schlichter offering him a hug. NRCC deputy communications director Bob Salera tweeted that Schlichter should focus on electing Republicans, rather than “crying on Twitter.” The NRCC shot back on its own Twitter account, accusing Schlichter of being a “Karen” who wants to speak to the campaign organization’s “manager” and doesn’t understand how political fundraising works. “This text raised $198,021 toward electing conservatives to Congress,” the NRCC tweeted on Monday. “But we’ll certainly pass your complaints on to our manager, Karen.”The NRCC’s text messages and its surprisingly dismissive reaction to Schlichter prompted outrage from Schlichter’s fellow pundits and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who said he didn’t approve of the fundraising tactics. Fox News host Tucker Carlson accused the NRCC of using an “ethnic slur,” on the grounds that “Karen” is typically used to refer to a white woman. The NRCC didn’t respond to a request for comment. While the vitriol in the spat between the NRCC and various pro-Trump personalities is unusual, the debate over how dramatically to phrase fundraising appeals isn’t. Democratic groups became notorious in the 2014 election cycle for fundraising emails suggesting that the party or a supporter’s favorite candidate was doomed—unless the donor opened the email immediately and gave money. But while the panicked emails subject lines are mocked on Twitter, they can also translate into higher donor totals, as they long as aren’t overused.While email list members may have adapted to urgent fundraising emails, according to Democratic strategist Jared Leopold, the language deployed in the NRCC’s text messages is unusual for text-message fundraising.“People are used to that kind of language in an email, but this is pushing the boundaries of what people normally see in text messages,” said Leopold, a former communications director at the Democratic Governors Association.Dramatically phrased fundraising appeals typically do work, according to Leopold, but they can also make subscribers more likely to unsubscribe from a text message or email list. Fundraisers monitor subscribers’ reactions to the appeals to make sure they don’t alienate too many potential backers, according to Leopold. “People do respond to the chicken-little, sky-is-falling emails,” Leopold said. “People who do digital strategy watch very carefully for when the list is burning out.” Several Democrats watched the fight between the NRCC and Schlichter with amusement. Rob Flaherty, the digital director for former Vice {resident Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, tweeted that he would pay for a subscription of Twitter that consisted solely of Republican infighting over “grifty” text-message fundraising.The text-message fracas isn’t the NRCC’s only fundraising problem. With Republican prospects for retaking the House in November dimming in the face of a Democratic fundraising boom, the NRCC has reportedly failed to secure new contributions from the Republican National Committee or the Trump campaign.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.