The Republican Party is in serious trouble.  Not only has their Donald Trump monster become an almost unstoppable force of racism, but now a strong majority of the party’s puppet candidates are facing dire financial situations that could leave no other choice than Trump.

Just last week, Rick Perry was forced to stop paying his campaign staff in Iowa, causing his Iowa campaign manager to abandon ship and join the Donald Trump camp.  Perry had previously suspended payments to his staff in South Carolina, but now that he’s unable to pay his staff in the state that is holding the very first caucus, his candidacy is likely over at this point.

Even financial heavyweights like Jeb Bush are struggling right now, with Jeb losing three of his top campaign fundraisers over what they described as “personality conflicts.”  The three fundraisers still plan on raising money through Jeb’s Super PAC Right to Rise, but their departure from his actual campaign is a startling reminder that the Donald Trump momentum has turned this entire Republican field on its head.

But fear not – there are always mega donors who have so much money that they don’t mind flushing it down the Republican toilet, and those donors are stepping up to help save the campaigns of their favorite candidates.

Rick Perry recently raised an impressive $1.1 million for his campaign in the span of one month, on top of two of his Super PACs pulling in $13 million from wealthy donors.

Chris Christie has likewise found his campaign suffering in the polls, but that hasn’t stopped deep-pocketed millionaires from propping him up along the way.  Paul Fireman, listed as one of the 700 wealthiest people in the world, recently gave Chris Christie’s Super PAC a one million dollar donation, likely because he’s hoping to build a $4 billion casino project in the state of New Jersey.

So with all of the financial troubles, declining poll numbers, and no visible way to unseat the GOP frontrunner, we have to wonder why these second-tier Republican candidates are even willing to bother staying in this race.  The answer is that these people are not running for president – they are running for vice president.

The top spot on the GOP ticket is going to be one of the following people:  Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, or John Kasich.  And since both Bush and Trump have too much pride to accept a VP nod, the rest of the field is currently competing to have their name in that spot on the November 2016 ballot.  And that’s what these wealthy donors are counting on.  After all, as long as they own half of the winning presidential ticket, they can still get their wish list fulfilled.  So when you hear about someone like Rick Perry or Chris Christie – a pair that have a combined 4.6% of the vote right now – when you hear about them receiving millions of dollars from wealthy donors, understand that it is for their Vice Presidential run, not because these donors think they’ll ever make it to the top of the ticket…

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced