Ivanka Trump Is Hitting the Fundraising Circuit to Help House GOP Win Midterms

The GOP leadership, hoping Ivanka Trump's influence could help stave off what's expected to be a bloodbath for the party this November, is sending her to headline a June fundraising event for House Republicans.

Ivanka Trump will appear at the "Protect the House" fundraiser in California alongside House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to Politico, which took the matchup to be a sign of McCarthy's close ties to the Trump White House.

"Ivanka developed a strong relationship with Leader McCarthy during their efforts to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Child Tax Credit provisions," a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump explained in a statement to Politico. "They also worked closely on SESTA/FOSTA legislation to combat online sex trafficking," the statement added, referring to the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers and Fight Online Sex Trafficking acts.

The optics of an Ivanka Trump–allied fundraising swing could bode well for McCarthy, who is angling to replace Paul Ryan as House speaker. Last month, just hours after Ryan announced he would be retiring, McCarthy reportedly took a lunch with President Donald Trump and other top Republicans to put in his bid for the job. Trump, a source told the Associated Press at the time, made it clear he'd be "very happy" to see McCarthy step into the role.

The event also signals Ivanka Trump's growing clout in the Capitol, with word of the joint fundraiser following news that the senior White House adviser and first daughter received full top-secret security clearance this month. 

Ivanka-Trumo-Jared-Kushner Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner both received full top security clearance this month. Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Republicans need all the help they can get this year. Republican strategists have estimated that the GOP will lose between 40 and 50 House seats come November, as voters head to the polls for a referendum on the president and the party, which has controlled both chambers of Congress for the past four years. 

"A little more than six months from now, on November 7, the sun will rise on a political landscape wrecked by President Donald Trump’s first midterm election," Alex Castellanos, the founder of Purple Strategies, a communications company focusing on battleground states, wrote in a Politico op-ed last month. "Thanks to a map that puts more Democratic than Republican seats at risk, our party will still cling to control of the Senate, but GOP House members lack insulation: They will crawl out from the smoking rubble of a 40- to 50-seat pounding to find they have lost their majority."

Protect the House is the White House's fundraising effort to mitigate some of the possible wreckage. Last month, for the second time, Vice President Mike Pence joined McCarthy on the fundraising circuit in California, where the GOP sees an opportunity to flip seats in Republican toss-up districts. The first such event, in October, brought in some $5 million for House Republicans, and at the most recent ones, tickets started at $10,000 for a pair and came with a picture with Pence.

Pence has been optimistic about what the midterms will bring for the party, even in the face of a bleak forecast. 

“Elections are about choices," the vice president told Politico in February. “If we frame that choice, I think we’re going to re-elect majorities in the House and the Senate, and I actually think we’re going to. When all the dust settles after 2018, I think we’re going to have more Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., than where we started."

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