Another sign of the party splits that the Trump nomination has created
The big WH2016 news overnight is a story in the New York Times that prominent GOP fundraiser and Hewlett Packard executive, Meg Whitman, has announced that she’s supporting Hillary Clinton and will help raise money for her campaign. According to the New York Times she says she’s taking the action in order to stop Trump who she describes as a threat to American democracy. She told the paper:-
“I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her,” Ms. Whitman said in a telephone interview.
She revealed that Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had reached out to her in a phone call about a month ago, one of the first indications that Mrs. Clinton is aggressively courting Republican leaders. While acknowledging she diverged from Mrs. Clinton on many policy issues, Ms. Whitman said it was time for Republicans “to put country first before party.”
Using remarkably blunt language, she argued that the election of Mr. Trump, whom she called “a dishonest demagogue,” could lead the country “on a very dangerous journey.” She noted that democracies had seldom lasted longer than a few hundred years and warned that those who say that “it can’t happen here” are being naïve. .
In recent years Whitman has played a prominent role in the GOP and in 2010 spent $140m of her own money in a bid for the Governorship of California.
As well as the practical help this move has enormous symbolism and reflects many of the concerns of the party establishment about the Trump nomination.
A real danger for the Trump campaign is that the Whitman move could trigger similar moves from high profile Republicans. Whitman is very well known and well regarded in the US.
A week ago Trump was a 33% chance on Betfair. He’s now down to 25%.