(CNN)The campaign arm of House Republicans is using an aggressive tactic to push online donors toward committing to monthly contributions, telling them that opting out of having the same amount automatically charged to their credit card or withdrawn from their bank each month is an act of disloyalty toward former President Donald Trump.
With a pre-checked box on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s donation page on the GOP’s online fundraising platform WinRed, donors are opted into making monthly donations and told: “We need to know we haven’t lost you to the Radical Left. If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a DEFECTOR & sided with the Dems.”
Following that box is another one that commits them to an additional donation on April 15. “If you want Trump to run for President this is your LAST chance to FLIP the House,” donors are told above another pre-checked box. “Change your Trump Victory Fund Status to ACTIVE now! Remain inactive = Republicans lose.”
Asking online donors to commit to making automatic monthly contributions is a standard political fundraising practice — one that allows campaigns, parties and organizations to tap into and budget around a consistent stream of cash. Pre-checked boxes that commit donors to those monthly contributions aren’t new, either: ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising platform, allows some groups to use such boxes.
But Republicans — including Trump’s 2020 campaign — have gone to new lengths to tap into Trump’s popularity and strong-arm supporters into regular, automatic contributions.
The NRCC’s language was first reported by the Bulwark, a news site run by anti-Trump conservatives, which highlighted similar pre-checked boxes the NRCC has used in recent weeks, including one that told donors to “check this box if you want Trump to run again” — when, in reality, what donors were being asked to do was leave checked a box that signed them up to make monthly donations. Under that was a box committing donors to another April 7 donation, telling them that their “Trump Patriot Status” was “MISSING!”
“As a TOP grassroots supporter, we were surprised to see you ABANDONED him. This is your LAST CHANCE to update your status to ACTIVE!” the pre-checked box said.