TTaking a stand against Donald Trump is guaranteed to bring Republicans online abuse, primary rivals, and criticism of the former US president himself. But it is also proving lucrative as donors scramble to bring the anti-Trump resistance to life.
Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming and a leading critic of Trump, enjoyed her second consecutive fundraising quarter of $ 1.88 million from April to June, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. It had raised $ 1.54 million in the first three months of the year.
Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois congressman who challenged party leaders by joining Cheney on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, raised nearly $ 2 million in the second quarter, while his Political Action Committee (Pac) received more than $ 1.5 million.
And Americans Keeping Country First, which describes itself as the “only Super Pac dedicated exclusively to defending members of Congress who took votes of conscience to impeach or convict President Trump” after the riots in the US Capitol. In the US, it reported $ 525,000 in revenue through the end of June. .
Soaring fundraising figures suggest that while Trump maintains a tight grip on the Republican party, there is still significant money behind efforts to wrest it from the man who was indicted twice and lost the House, Senate and White House. .
“That is a bright sign for Republican dissidents to be able to raise that amount of money,” he said. Charlie sykes, journalist and author of How the Right Lost Its Mind. “It is unfortunate that the dynamics that the Republican base is what it is does not change.
But it is a reminder that there is an electorate of Republicans who are willing to break with Trump. It’s a sign that other Republicans can see that if they actually do the right thing, they’re not going to be completely abandoned, that there is potentially some support there. “
Breaking with Trump has a political price. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has already been censored by the Wyoming Republican Party and removed as Speaker of the House Republican Conference.
She, Kinzinger and other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are ready to face primary challenges from candidates backed by the former president before next year’s midterm elections.
But healthy cash flow suggests that hipsters won’t go down without a fight. Cheney edged out his most prominent opponent, Wyoming State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who received a more modest $ 550,000 through the end of June. Kinzinger challenger Catalina Lauf raised just over $ 350,000.
The Americans Keeping Country First walkthrough “puts it on or above the fundraising pace of independent political groups that go after the few Republican critics of Trump left in Congress,” Axios reported.
The figures come after a difficult week for Trump. Susan Wright, whom she endorsed, lost to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey in a primary in Texas, though Democrats were able to cast protest votes, and Senate Republicans challenged her urging to reject a bipartisan infrastructure deal.
Sykes added: “There are some green shoots. All these elements are indications of a possible vulnerability. Losing that elementary school in which I had gone with everything is significant, but there is a long way to go. It’s going to be a drip, a drip, a drip. There will be plenty of opportunities for other Republicans to find exit ramps if they are looking for it. “
However, declaring an end to Trump’s rule of the party is often an illusion. He raised more than $ 100 million in the first half of 2021, far more than any other Republican and a remarkable sum for a former president. Many leading party figures still promote their false claim of stolen elections, at least in public.
Tim miller, general writer for the Bulwark website and former political director of Republican Voters Against Trump, said: “There are many Republican donors who did not support the insurrection but who simply agree to get along with Donald Trump. These are not profiles of anger, but I could see them wanting to assuage their guilt by rewarding Cheney and Kinzinger.
“There are people who may not want to speak out and earn the ire of Donald Trump, but want to support; I know people like that. It doesn’t surprise me that with the combination, from his quiet anti-Trump Republicans to his Never Trumpeters to some good-natured Democrats, he can raise money. The question is whether that translates into popular support.“
Electoral strategy can also play a role. Some Republicans, and their financial backers, apparently view Trump as a toxic figure in many suburban districts that are crucial for midterm success. Some of his anointed candidates, such as Herschel Walker For the Georgia senator, it could skyrocket in a primary but shut down in a general election. Therefore, the money flows to some more moderate rivals.
Wendy Schiller, A political science professor at Brown University said, “Whatever the polls say, whatever the voter base is, who’s really driving the Republicans in terms of campaign contributions? You are seeing a different division. You’re looking at a piece of the game, and that includes corporations and the Chamber of Commerce, which really likes stability, which keeps the anti-Trump faction in pretty good shape at least with Kinzinger and Cheney.
“If you are the Republicans and you desperately need to keep the suburbs that you won in 2020, you must do something about the Trump surge because suburban voters are not going to go back to Trump. So if you have a Republican person in 2020 who regained a competitive suburban seat in that election, that person will have a hard time keeping the seat if they are too aligned with Trump.
That’s where the Cheney-Kinzinger wing of the party has to be able to raise enough money to keep those suburban Republicans in the race in a primary against a Trump-backed opponent … find a way to keep those people in it. I play in the primaries from January to August “.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism