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Trump’s campaign just got support from one of the Republican Party’s biggest donors

Sheldon Adelson Speaks At Global Gaming Expo In Las Vegas
Sheldon Adelson says it's time for the Republican Party to throw its support behind Trump.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and billionaire Republican donor, has made up his mind: He's supporting Donald Trump, and other Republicans need to fall in line.

Adelson's endorsement, in an op-ed in the Washington Post, matters because he's very wealthy and very willing to spend his wealth to elect Republicans. He spent as much as $150 million trying to defeat President Obama in 2012. His pro-Trump argument boils down to three points: Any Republican is better than a Democrat, Hillary Clinton in particular would be worse, and Trump's CEO experience has to count for something.

As Republicans, we know that getting a person in the White House with an "R" behind his name is the only way things will get better.

That opportunity still exists. We must not cut off our noses to spite our faces.

Adelson almost certainly won't be the last prominent Republican to rationalize supporting Trump like this. Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan seem to be working toward a rapprochement. Senate Republicans up for reelection are still dancing around outright endorsing Trump but are refusing to publicly denounce him either.

And if anyone had reasons to be skeptical about Trump, it's Adelson, a hard-liner on Israeli security. Trump promised to be "neutral" on Israel-Palestine — although he later backed away from that stance — and to enforce the Iran deal. Adelson has been telegraphing for months that Trump might be acceptable to him. His rationale — "The alternative to Trump being sworn in as the nation’s 45th president is frightening," he wrote — is likely to show up in other Republicans' statements between now and November.

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