Republicans had big plans to leverage their perennial midterm cash advantage to build a barrier wall around their endangered candidates. With the GOP’s Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC pledging to drop more than $100 million on House races, Republicans were going to hit hard and early with attack ads intended to define Democratic candidates before the final stretch of the campaign when voters really start to tune in.
But an influx of online cash from Democratic donors put a wrench in those plans. Politico reports that some $36 million in online donations in August made through ActBlue to Democratic House candidates enabled them to get on the air in advance of the GOP onslaught of negativity. The cash infusion is almost six times more than Democratic online totals in August 2016, which stood at just $6.2 million.
In about 20 districts, Democrats were able to preempt Republicans by getting their own narratives to voters first; the GOP succeeded in launching their attacks first in seven districts.
While Democrats have been searching for years for a billionaire answer to the Koch brother, says Jesse Ferguson, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer and Democratic consultant, “In reality, it’s a 67-year-old grandmother on a fixed income who’s donating $25 every month to candidates.”
Check out the Democrats’ top 25 online fundraisers below.