GOP’s lack of fundraising fuels post-election discord

WASHINGTON (AP) – As votes trailed badly in his Arizona Senate race, Republican Blake Masters went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program and blamed one man: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“You know what else is inefficient, Tucker? The institutions. The people who control the wallet,” Masters said of the long-serving GOP leader and the super PACs aligned with him not spending enough on TV advertising. Said before making allegations. “If he had chosen to spend the money in Arizona, this race would have been over. We would be celebrating a majority in the Senate right now.”

Masters not only lost his race against Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. He outperformed every other Republican running for statewide office in Arizona. But there’s another problem Masters didn’t acknowledge: He failed to raise significant funding on his own.

He was hardly alone.

As both parties scrutinize the results of Democrats’ stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, Republicans have engaged in a round of finger-pointing, including a failed attempt by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who took over as Senate GOP’s campaign arm. had led. , to challenge McConnell for his leadership position.

But these allegations obscure a much deeper dilemma for the party. Many of his nominees – a significant number of whom were first-time candidates who adopted far-right positions – failed to raise the funds needed to mount competing campaigns. This forced party leaders, especially in the Senate, to make difficult choices and triage resources for the races where they felt they had the best chance of winning, often paying exorbitant rates to TV stations. Which would have been required, by law, to sell the same. Advertisement time is very less for the candidates.

The lack of fundraising allowed Democrats to get their message to voters quickly and unchallenged, while GOP contenders lacked the resources to do so.

“This has become an existential and systemic problem for our party and it is something that needs to be addressed if we hope to be competitive,” said Steven Law, a former McConnell chief of staff who is now a member of the Senate. leads the Leadership Fund, a super PAC that spent at least $232 million on advertising to elect Republicans to the Senate this year.

“Our (donors) have become increasingly concerned that they are being put in the position of subsidizing weak fundraising performances by candidates in important races. Something has to give. It’s just not sustainable,” Law said.

In key Senate and House battleground states, Democratic candidates outnumbered their Republican counterparts by a factor of nearly 2 to 1, according to an Associated Press analysis of campaign finance data.

Consider the handful of races that helped Democrats retain their Senate majority.

In Arizona, Masters was outscored nearly 8-to-1 by Kelly, who poured at least $32 million in TV advertising from August until Election Day, records show. Masters spent a little over $3 million on advertising during the same period after being pulled out of the race by the Senate Leadership Fund.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto raised $52.8 million compared to Republican Adam Laxalt’s $15.5 million. And in Pennsylvania, Democratic Sen.-elect John Fetterman took in $16 million more than his GOP opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. This despite the celebrity TV doctor lending $22 million to his campaign, records show.

Similar disparities played out in key House races, including in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which helped limit House Republicans to surprisingly narrow majorities.

The Democrats’ fundraising advantage was significantly reversed when it came to buying TV ad time. Ad vendors are required by law to offer the cheapest rate to candidates. The same advantage doesn’t apply to super PACs, which Republican candidates rely on to close their fundraising gap — often at a premium.

In Las Vegas, for example, a candidate can buy a unit of TV advertising for $598, according to advertising data provided to the AP. The same segment costs a Super PAC $4,500. In North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham media market, a $342 spot cost the super PAC $1,270. Advertising statistics show that a Super PAC costs about $2,000 in a $580 candidate segment in the Philadelphia area.

Republicans found themselves defending states that were ultimately not competitive.

JD Vance, who won his Ohio Senate race by more than 6 percentage points, was outscored nearly 4-to-1 by Democratic Representative Tim Ryan. To support him, the Senate Leadership Fund pumped $28 million into the state. The group’s advertising accounted for nearly 70% of all Republican media spending from August until Election Day.

A similar situation occurred in North Carolina, where the McConnell-coalition super PAC was responsible for 82% of Republican ad spending during the same period. GOP Representative Ted Budd won with over 3% of the vote.

But the money crunch was not the only complicating factor.

Donald Trump put forward a series of untested, first-time candidates. They included Masters, Vance, and former NFL star Herschel Walker, whose complicated backstory includes threats of violence against his ex-wife, false claims of commercial success and allegations that he twice pressured a girlfriend into having an abortion, which was Walker refused. Then there was Oz, who moved to Pennsylvania to seek the seat and also garnered Trump’s endorsement, but was pilloried by Democrats as an out-of-touch carpetbagger.

The former president gave her his endorsement, but was stingy when it came to sharing the more than $100 million he put into a committee set up to help other candidates. Records show he spent about $15 million on ads in five Senate races.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, under Scott’s leadership, often worked at cross-purposes with McConnell’s political operations.

Initially, Scott declined to attend the primaries, which he saw as undue interference. McConnell’s allies, meanwhile, moved to shun candidates they saw as poor general election contenders, like Don Bolduc, a far-right conservative who dropped out of his New Hampshire race last week. lost by about 10 percentage points. McConnell forces also defended GOP moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski against a conservative challenger.

“The Senate race is totally different,” McConnell said in August. “The quality of the candidate has a lot to do with the result.”

In response, Scott took a shot at McConnell without mentioning him by name, suggesting in an opinion article published in the Washington Examiner that any “trash-talking” of Republican candidates was an “act of cowardice” that was “for the conservative cause”. was a traitor”. ,

But his committee was also struggling after making several bad bets, including a costly investment to promote the committee’s online fundraising.

An internal document obtained by the AP, first reported by The New York Times, shows the committee invested $23.3 million between June and January of 2021 to build out its digital fundraising program. But the NRSC raised only $6.1 million during that time – a deficit. Then, as inflation rose, the cash flow from online donors slowed.

This prevented the NRSC from spending as much on TV ads as in previous years, even as Scott was predicted to pick up five Senate seats. The digital fundraising effort was a boon, however, for the advisors, who collected at least $31 million in payments, disclosures show.

Some Republican senators are now demanding an audit of the committee. Last week during a Senate GOP luncheon at the Capitol, Maine Sen. Susan Collins questioned Scott’s management of the NRSC.

Scott’s aides dismissed suggestions of financial impropriety and instead accused McConnell of undermining the committee.

During the Senate GOP luncheon in August, Scott asked senators for donations to the NRSC, which is now at least $20 million in debt. McConnell then addressed the room and asked senators to prioritize giving to the Senate Leadership Fund, according to two people familiar with the discussions; He requested anonymity to describe it.

Committee spokesman Chris Hartline said the talks were part of a wider pattern by McConnell to sabotage the NRSC.

“There was a very clear implication for donors that they should not give to the NRSC,” Hartline said.

According to senior Republican strategists, McConnell aides believed it was Scott who was using his position to burnish his own image at the expense of the party, potentially setting himself up for the presidency. was working to do. They were not authorized to discuss the McConnell colleagues’ findings and did so on condition of anonymity.

The gambit failed, as Scott had challenged McConnell’s leadership position the previous week.

Faced with the prospect of consolidating their majority with another seat during a December runoff election in Georgia, Democrats were more than happy to offer unsolicited guidance to Republicans.

“My advice is to keep doing what they’re doing,” said Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, who led the Senate Democrats’ campaign team this year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Then We Knew It Was on..” – Roman Reigns Shark Tank Keto Gummies Scam Alert? McDonald’s Halloween Buckets Could Be Back How to Watch Spacecraft Collide With Deep Space Asteroid Grand Theft Auto VI footage leaked after the hack Floyd Mayweather Jr boxer knocks out Mikuru Asakura martial artist