The line between Donald Trump the presidential candidate and Donald Trump the businessman got a little blurrier Monday night, when the ribbon cutting for Trump’s downtown Washington DC hotel appeared as an official event on his campaign website.
As required by election law, Trump has already paid millions of dollars in campaign funds to his businesses to host events at Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties, and to fly on his personal jet.
His decision to take what amounts to a half-day detour between swings through Florida (29 Electoral Votes), to North Carolina (15 electoral votes) to go to Washington (zero electoral voters) for a ribbon cutting has analysts scratching their heads.
Trump’s winding campaign trail has raised questions before. When he traveled to Virginia on Saturday for a rally in a deep red portion of a state in which he trails by nearly 10 points, some Republicans suggested the trip may have been more tied to his business interests than political ones.
“He’s got a winery in Charlottesville and a golf course on the Potomac and probably doesn’t want to give up here, but I don’t know what sound political advisor would tell him that two weeks out in a state you’re down by ten you should be spending any time, or really, any money,” said Will Ritter, co-founder of the Richmond-based Republican ad agency Poolhouse.
And while Trump ‘campaigns’ in Washington DC, his running mate will be in perhaps even stranger territory for a Republican two weeks til election day: Ruby red Utah.
Polls have shown Trump’s support tanking in Utah, with independent candidate Evan McMullin, Trump and Clinton all taking nearly equal shares of the vote. Losing Utah’s six electoral votes would further complicate Trump’s already perilous path to 270.
The last Democrat to win Utah was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
MORE POLITICAL NEWS: