SHUTDOWN FUNDRAISING: Campaigns Cashing In

Despite the shutdown, there are components of government that are still running wide open.

“The parties have been raising money based on the impending shutdown for a long time,” says political scientist, Arther Sanders of Drake University. “Once you have the shutdown, it allows many more people to take advantage of it.”

Crisis can be opportunity and campaigns looking for funding aren’t wasting it.

You might have noticed – flooded inboxes, a collage of new ads, and donors answering the bell.

Monday, the Democratic National Committee reported its biggest day of fundraising since the 2012 election: nearly $850,000; effectively turning Republican threats of shutdown into a rallying cry.

“When you have something like this happen, for the Democrats it’s like ‘Look at these people over there, look what they’re doing!’” Sanders says.

But Republicans have raised nearly $54 million post-election.

This week, urgent appeals – heavy with buzzwords and unwelcome faces – rallied the base through emails and social media.

But, will the reality of the shutdown ultimately hurt their efforts with donors as a whole?

“The most recent surveys that I’ve seen say that (Americans) are blaming the House Republicans more than they’re blaming anybody else,” Sanders says, “and for the long-term politics of it, that’s not a good thing.”

Moderate Republicans are using the shutdown, too – to distance themselves from others in their party – but also to ask for money.

“They’re saying ‘Voices like mine are getting lost in Washington! So please, send me your money,’” says Sanders.

Shutdown fundraising might be unique to these lawmakers, but calling it “unusual” might be a stretch.

“As long as you have a system that requires them to raise enormous amounts of money, they’re gonna raise enormous amounts of money.”

In Iowa and Washington, part of our system appears to be working better than ever.

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