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When former reality TV coordinator Dave Goss (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette) launched a Donald Trump-inspired dating website in May, he never really expected it to live on after Nov. 8.
But now that the controversial Republican business mogul is packing his bags and in the thick of a transition to the White House, business is booming at TrumpSingles.com.
“Business is great!” Goss exclaims of his site, which has seen a spike in users following the election. He created the site as a safe space for Trump supporters to find love without fear of being discriminated against. “After he won, we’ve consistently had people sign up every single day,” explains Goss, a Republican, adding that in the days and weeks leading up the election, there had been a considerable dip in users, with some days completely void of new members.
But the morning after the election, Goss says he awoke to six new paying customers, a number which may seem slight yet steady in terms of the growth of the overall site. Goss estimates that there are now 12,000 active users, many of whom pay a membership fee, a sharp increase from a post-launch user base of around 500. (The site is free to sign up, but users can only send one message a day unless they pay a $4.95 monthly subscription for unlimited use.)
“We never expected him to win — at least I didn’t,” admits Goss.
He assumed that a complete rebranding would be required at the site, which is now his full-time job. Around 5 p.m. on Election Day, Goss was nursing a beer wondering what he was going to do with the site after the votes were counted, presumably in Hillary Clinton’s favor. “When he actually won, all the thinking and plans went out the window. It made my life easier,” he laughs.
They went ahead with a slight redesign, making the website appear more “Trumpian” and presidential, he says. “We got a little slow going from mid-October through November, and I was really worried. But as soon as he won, people signed up and paid to join. It has completely revitalized the site.”
As for its success rate, there have yet to be any marriage proposals as far as Goss knows, but he did reveal that he’s received positive messages from users about multiple dates and some solid relationships.
“It’s been working out for some people,” adds Goss, who is married and yes, both he and his wife voted for Trump. “I’m so glad we have something out there to help people find each other. For some people, going on dates and finding out that they supported Trump was a deal killer. That’s not the case for our users.”
But those hungry for love do have other options when it comes to mixing politics and dating. Maple Match, another site that launched earlier this year, offers Americans and Canadians a chance to find love and potentially move in together north of the border. (The website’s description reads: “The unfathomable horror is coming soon, but we’ve got your back.”)
Goss doesn’t scoff at the competition but he does support defectees even if he doesn’t understand it.
“I’m OK with them leaving,” Goss says matter-of-factly. “Good for Maple Match for doing that, but I see these people as cowards for wanting to leave, however. If Hillary had won, I wasn’t going to leave. I would stay here and do what I need to do to help Republicans get back in office. As an American, when you lose something, you don’t run away from it. You fight and work hard to make a difference and get America to be the country you want it to be.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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