Donald Trump’s presidential campaign centers on his alleged success as a business man, and to listen to Trump talk about himself is to hear how much of a winner he is. Yet it is hard to gauge exactly how successful Trump’s business career has been because he admittedly inflates his net worth and misleadingly refuses to release his tax records against decades of candidacy precedence.
One thing that can be known for certain is that many of Trump’s corporate deals are earning him less profits now than before he announced his candidacy. Whimsically insulting entire demographics of people has not been a savvy, profitable strategy for Trump’s business outside the sphere of politics, and his nativistic comments on Mexicans being rapists last summer have particularly done some damage to the Trump brand.
Unsurprisingly, a host of companies decided to drop Trump-branded products, including Macy’s, Serta, and Perfumania, with more promising to phase out their Trump-branded products. Meanwhile, NBC disinvited him from hosting his own reality television show Celebrity Apprentice, and Univision washed its hands of Trump’s Miss Universe beauty pageant. ESPN, NASCAR, and PGA have similarly refused to host sporting events at Trump properties. Yikes.
Trump’s hotels across the country have also suffered, and have seen losses in various cities’ market shares ranging from 17% in Atlantic City to 70% in New York City and Las Vegas. The travel search engine Hipmunk found that Trump hotel bookings are down 59% from before Trump began testing his theory that all press is good press.
It seems that Trump’s narcissism and penchant for vanity have really backfired here, given that consumers can easily boycott his various businesses and products because he obsesses over conspicuous labeling. Anyone looking for a hotel simply has to look up to see Trump’s name printed in giant letters on the side of the building to decide to take their business somewhere else.
Unfortunately for Trump, his campaign of corporate self-destruction is not over yet, as there are still three months to go until voting day. Trump’s track record suggests that he will continue inviting controversy and saying offensive things, especially as the electoral map continues to watch traditionally red states turn blue, such as North Carolina, Georgia, and even Arizona. While Trump grapples with the impending reality that he will be Election 2016’s loser, he will likely be unable to stop himself from inflicting further pain upon his brand.
The worst effects of Trump’s bad business sense, however, have plagued the Republican Party. Trump may have led a successful mutiny against the establishment captains of the GOP and won the Republican nomination, but his leadership will likely lose the party its majority in the Senate. Even more disastrous, the GOP is likely to suffer a third, consecutive election in which young people, women, and all ethnic and religious minorities cast their votes for the Democratic Party. This will have lasting negative effects on Republican hopes for the presidency. Fittingly, Republicans with any political sense are denouncing and abandoning Trump, of which Maine’s Senator Susan Collins is the latest—though certainly not the last. If Trump is such a good deal maker why can he not even convince his own political party to support him?
Trump may allege that he will make a great president because of his business career, but running for president looks like it has been the worst business decision he has ever made.