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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Political cash flows to contestants in a party-polarized U.S.

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as Treasure Island

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as Treasure Island Casino owner Phil Ruffin, right, speaks at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2016. Credit: AP

Campaigns come and go. Approval ratings rise and fall. But fundraising will go full tilt this year and next — especially in these feverish first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

For the Democrats, small online donations are reportedly flowing, even as Republicans hold all the major power centers in Washington, assuring them access to special-interest funds.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who heads the main fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told Politico: “Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.”

“What we’re seeing is a massive number of people who are either scared or concerned or shocked by somebody like Trump, with all his vitriolic negativity and his attacks on people.”

“People are blown away and surprised, and as a result they’re getting off their rear end one way or another, and a way we’re seeing it is an influx of donations.”

But Trump and Republican allies have resources and a political sense of purpose at their disposal, too. Not only does the GOP hold the White House and both houses of Congress, it has 33 governorships and 66 of 99 state legislative houses.

As Bloomberg Politics reports this week, Making America Great — a nonprofit run by the influential Manhattan top donor Rebekah Mercer — will launch ads in 10 states to shore up Trump’s position on pushing his agenda.

One million dollars worth of TV ads are due to run in the District of Columbia and 10 states that Trump won in November where Democratic senators face re-election next year, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

There will be digital ads as well, the news site reported.

Rebekah Mercer and her father, Robert, have funded Breitbart News, Trump aide Steve Bannon’s ventures and Cambridge Analytica — a firm that crafts right-wing internet messaging here and in England — drawing them widespread publicity since Trump’s win.

That publicity this week helped make Robert Mercer a target of left-wing protests at his Head of the Harbor home.

Democrats in Washington appear to be under pressure from various activists and constituency groups calling for resistance to Trump on every level, including the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch.

Action or debate on any celebrated cause such as abortion, climate change or arts support will get contributions flowing in one direction or the other. Many such opportunities are still coming.

Next year in the Senate, Democrats will likely need to defend 25 seats, while Republicans are expected to be guarding nine seats from turning over. The GOP caucus is currently two seats bigger than the Democrats’.

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