Democrats swiftly raised $80M after court overturned Roe
A man holds a sign as community members walk around Vander Veer Park during a march following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, June 26, 2022, in Davenport, Iowa. Democrats and their aligned groups raised more than $80 million in the week after the Supreme Court stripped away a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion. The flood of cash offers one of the first tangible signs of how the ruling may energize voters. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

Governors’ races will be a major focus.

In the first week after the Supreme Court stripped away a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion, Democrats and aligned groups raised more than $80 million, a tangible early sign that the ruling may energize voters.

But party officials say donors are giving much of that money to national campaigns and causes instead of races for state office, where abortion policy will now be shaped as a result of the court’s decision. That’s where Republicans wield disproportionate power after more than a decade of plunging money and resources into critical but often-overlooked contests.

The fundraising disparity offers an example of how a lack of long-term planning can lead to both a structural disadvantage and an exasperated Democratic base. Short of the votes to pass legislation through a gridlocked and narrowly divided Congress, the right to abortion now appears to be the latest issue ceded largely to the states. That’s after failed Democratic efforts to expand voting rights, limit gerrymandering and significantly stiffen gun laws.

“We can no longer afford Democrats’ systemic neglect of down-ballot races — not when Republicans are eager to intrude on our health care decisions, bedrooms, and marriages,” said Gabrielle Chew, a spokesperson for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which helps finance state legislative races. “This should be a wake-up call.”

The massive $80 million fundraising haul was recorded by ActBlue, the Democrats’ online fundraising platform, which has a ticker that shows in real time the money passing through the organization. ActBlue took in over $20 million in the first 24 hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that determined abortion was a constitutional right. By Tuesday, the group had processed more than $51 million in donations, and by Friday, the total had reached $80 million.

In fact, all major Democratic campaign committees reported a surge in contributions after the ruling, including those working on state-level as well as federal races. Planned Parenthood, too. But few have been willing to release hard numbers.

WinRed, the online fundraising portal for the Republican Party, did not respond to an inquiry about the party’s fundraising since the court’s decision.

The fundraising disparity is nothing new between Democratic groups working for state candidates and those focusing on national issues after a defining moment. For example, ActBlue took in more than $71 million in just 24 hours after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, little of which went to groups working on state-level campaigns.

Consider the case of Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, who in 2020 shattered fundraising records in his long-shot bid to oust Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and head to Congress in Washington. Harrison ended up losing the race by more than 10 points. He raised more than $57 million in the closing months of his campaign, including one 24-hour period in which he raised over $1 million.

But for statehouses? The Democratic Governors Association announced it had raised $200,000 online after the court’s decision last week. The organization said Thursday that it was on pace to raise $1 million before the start of the long Fourth of July weekend.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which raises money for state races across the country, declined to say how much it has taken in since the court decision. But its past fundraising figures demonstrate how under-resourced the group is.

The DLCC raised $650,000 in the 48 hours after a leaked copy of the court’s decision surfaced in May. Earlier this year, it celebrated when announcing it had raised nearly $6 million in the final three months of last year.

Its GOP counterpart, the Republican State Leadership Committee, raised more than twice that during the same period last year.

“When Democrats (spend) 1-to-1 with Republicans in legislative races, we win them,” said Greg Goddard, a Florida Democrat who raises money for national and state campaigns. “But when it’s 3-to-1, or 4-to-1, we get clobbered.”

Amanda Litman, co-founder of the group Run For Something, which recruits candidates to run for school boards, city councils and legislatures, said Democrats have a woeful track record when it comes to investing in down-ballot races that also build a bench of future talent.

“The worst laws are going to come from the reddest states, and they are not going to stay in those red state borders. So what are you going to do to mitigate the harm?” Litman said after the abortion ruling. “I want to see Joe Biden doing fundraisers for the DLCC and the DGA.”

The Democratic fundraising eco-system typically rewards social media stars, those who appear on popular liberal shows, like Rachel Maddow, or candidates who go viral online. That’s exceedingly difficult for candidates in races that don’t draw much attention away from home, like most legislative contests.

Meanwhile, big dollar donors have historically donated to national candidates, or groups focused on the presidency or Congress.

Still, some Democrats bristle at the suggestion that down-ballot races don’t get enough attention.

Sam Newton, a spokesperson for the governors association, said it has its own success story to tell. Democratic candidates in key states saw major donation surges after the court decision, he said. The group has also closed a 2-to-1 fundraising gap with Republicans that existed less than a decade ago, reaching parity last year.

Planned Parenthood is part of a joint effort with the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List, which supports women running for office, that plans to spend $150 million up and down the ballot in the 2022 midterms, said Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes.

Governors’ races will be a major focus, she said, citing Michigan and Wisconsin, in particular, where decades-old laws banning abortion are still on the books. (Michigan’s law dates to 1931; Wisconsin’s to 1849.) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats, are facing tough reelection battles.

“Those governors have stood in front of these Republican legislatures who want nothing more than to ban abortion and they have said ‘no,’” said Lawson. “These governors are on the front line, and we need to protect them.”

But others are skeptical that the effort will trickle down outside of high-profile races.

Litman said some party donors are warming up to the idea of giving to down-ballot contests. But there remains a culture in the party, particularly among megadonors, of chasing the “bright, shiny object,” she said. Republicans, meanwhile, treat political giving as a “business investment — you get your judges and tax cuts” and “you spend money patiently knowing it will pay off,” she said.

“We have to balance our short-term immediate electoral goals with a long-term mission to win back these seats,” Litman said.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Impeach Biden

    July 2, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Of course the Democrats will run with this one. They can’t campaign on anything else. According to my extremely liberal Sun-Sentinel Rag, between 96 and 98% of abortions in the state of Florida occur before the 15 week limit. Of course you won’t read this or see this on any campaign message the Dems put out there.

    • marylou

      July 2, 2022 at 3:24 pm

      Ron and his official state religion, the Catholic Church, will not stop at 15 weeks. They want to ban abortion at conception, (contraceptives, too). That way Florida will win the (im)morality war with Ohio, which just denied an abortion to a ten year old child because she was six weeks and three days pregnant. That’s ron’s plan for Freedom State fifth graders.

      • Truth be known

        July 2, 2022 at 5:48 pm

        Liar, blasphemous, repent.
        Find your salvation, rejoice in Christ.
        Ten years old. Stop spreading legs, eggs and lies.

        • I can tell

          July 2, 2022 at 10:17 pm

          Did you just tell a 10 year she deserved it? Yeah yo sure a Republican lol

    • Just a comment

      July 3, 2022 at 7:48 am

      Yep money’s to the rescue

    • Just wondering

      July 6, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Wasn’t that girl that killed her own kid in a bathtub pro life? Lol

  • Devil's paymasters

    July 2, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    “Democrats swiftly raised $80M after court overturned Roe”

    Blood money.

  • PeterH

    July 2, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Rounding up the State of Florida numbers their are roughly 5 million Democrat voters, 5 million Republican voters and 4 million Independent voters. Independent voters connected to the Lincoln Project and a half dozen other “never Trump” organizations will be deciding future elections.

    According to Gallup ….. Nationally the statistics are even more pronounced.
    Democrats 27%
    Republicans 27%
    Independents 43%

    In the last week the Lincoln Project has seen a 35% increase in new donors and participation.

    Join us at the Lincoln Project and take a look at how YOU can take real action to save our democracy.

    • Tom

      July 3, 2022 at 11:28 am

      Total moron.

      Peter h. You and Lincoln a joke.
      How’d you do vs Youngkin campaign? You got ass kicked, as will America’s Gov in Nov.

      You are a front group for Dem liberal extremism.

      Keep dreaming peter h. You can have that filth Liz Cheney and her war crimes father sign your funder letter for pennies.

      DeSantis has all the momentum.
      The best record as Gov in America.
      Repub. and independents love him.

      Lincoln is for losers! LMAO,

  • Tom

    July 2, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Yes, bought and paid for by China.
    Pelosi and Schumer.
    Swawell, fang, bang bang, bang!
    $80 Million my ass!

  • Don’t Look Up

    July 2, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    To the chagrin of today’s incompetent GQP, THE LINCOLN PROJECT has significantly increased it’s voter pool and midterm campaign funding in the recent past. It’s time for change we can believe in.

    • Impeach Biden

      July 2, 2022 at 7:05 pm

      Incompetent GOP? Ha! Ha! That is some funny stuff right there. Care to comment on the last year and a half of Joey and Giggles? How about that Sec of Energy and the Sec of Transportation. Add those two to the mix and oh my, probably the most incompetent administration since the Jimmy Carter era.

      • One of you

        July 2, 2022 at 10:16 pm

        Republicans are incompetent and usually not as smart as everyone else lol

        • Impeach Biden

          July 3, 2022 at 6:25 am

          Not as smart eh? So who are the geniuses that vote for not only this current administration but the likes of AOC, Jayapal, Wasserman-Schultz, Tlaib, Bush, Presley, Omar, Warren, Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Walter’s, etc.?

          • Bill

            July 3, 2022 at 7:55 am

            And add to that Boebert, MTG, Gaetz, McCarthy, Rand Paul, Stefanic and of course, the former guy and his sycophantic sidekick. That would be the problem in America – we have morons getting elected all over the place.

  • Tom Wills

    July 3, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Democrats are working overtime to ensure that every BIPOC fetus in Florida is aborted! Thanks, Charlie and Val.

Comments are closed.


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