Republican Insurrectionists Suffer Dramatic Fundraising Decline

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Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year, corporate donations to members of Congress who voted against formally certifying the presidential election outcome have plummeted. The legislators who voted against certifying the election outcome helped provide a rhetorical cover for the rioters, who swarmed the Capitol under the explicit pretense of right-wing lies about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

As summarized by The Wall Street Journal, political action committees (PACs) associated with companies, trade associations, unions, and similar groups gave a total of $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 to the campaigns of the 147 Congressional Republicans who voted against certifying the election outcome. In the first quarter of 2019 — the corresponding first post-election quarter from the last Congressional election cycle — these groups gave a total of $6.7 million to the 147 Republican members of Congress in question. That’s an about 80 percent drop.

Corporate donations to members of Congress who voted in favor of certifying the presidential election outcome also fell in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of 2019, but the decline wasn’t as steep. In the comparable period from 2019, corporate groups and related entities gave $27.2 million to the members who backed the certification, but in the first three months of this year, they gave $17.7 million.

For some lesser known members of Congress, donations from these corporate groups can constitute a major boost. In 2019, over two-thirds of the donations that Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo) brought in were from these PACs. Luetkemeyer was one of the election objectors and has sunk financially — in the first quarter of this year, his overall fundraising total was over $228,000 less than his corresponding total from early 2019.

These financial missteps could impede Republican efforts to retake control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Democratic fundraising has soared, at least in some sectors — in the first quarter of this year, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who has to run again in 2022, raised over $5.7 million. The Senator’s team said that this total was the highest single-quarter fundraising haul ever recorded in Georgia in an off-year without a statewide election.