Eric Wilson, the director of the Center for Campaign Innovation, a conservative nonprofit focused on digital politics, commissioned a recent survey of Republican fund-raisers and found 70 percent falling short of expectations.
“You’ve got this perfect storm happening that has really put the brakes on grass-roots fund-raising,” Mr. Wilson said.
Some Republicans blamed inflation. Some blamed tech platforms. Others accused certain campaigns and committees — in particular the highly aggressive Trump operation — of simply overfishing and polluting a limited donor pool for everyone.
Mr. Trump’s PAC often sends out more than a dozen daily fund-raising emails and relentlessly searches for new donors via text messages and by renting conservative email lists. At times, the operation has leaned on deceptive and manipulative tactics. As one Republican said in Mr. Wilson’s survey, “Republicans are struggling to grow online fund-raising revenue because the big dogs are eating all of the food in the bowl.”