“Republicans Seek to Boost Small Donations, but a Fragmented System Stymies Them”


Last year at this time, Republicans feared the “blue wave,” a surge of voter enthusiasm for Democrats in the midterm elections.

With the election over, and the fears of Republicans partially realized, the party’s worry has shifted to the “green wave:” $39.67 here, $39.67 there.

That’s the average donation to ActBlue, the online fund-raising hub used by more than 90 percent of Democrats. Buoyed by ActBlue, more than 100 Democratic candidates outraised their Republican counterparts in hotly contested congressional races.

That kind of uniformity and heft in small-dollar donations — typically defined as $200 or less — was missing on the Republican side, a costly shortcoming that the party is now confronting after losing 40 seats, and control of the House, to Democrats….

Republicans still receive streams of money from super pacs financed by big donors like the casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and through individual donors who send larger amounts. And the Republican National Committee exceeded the Democratic National Committee in fund-raising in the cycle nearly two to one. In addition, President Trump’s campaign is known for its prolific fund-raising

But individual Democratic candidates for House and Senate seats outraised their Republican counterparts overall, $1.4 billion to $880 million and a significant portion of the difference can be attributed to small donations whose impact has increased significantly.


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