House Republicans are proving to be the best Democratic Party fundraisers this year, as thousands of people are donating millions to defeat vulnerable Republicans.
In less than 24 hours after the American Health Care Act (also known as Trumpcare) was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, VICE News calculated that Democrats had raised at least $4 million for challenges to incumbent House Republicans.
According to VICE, ActBlue, which is a fundraising tool for Democrats running for office, recorded more than $4.2 million in total donations from 123,145 people following Republicans’ vote to repeal Obamacare, amounting to roughly $34 per donor. The donations came from an estimated 1,200 different progressive campaigns, organizations, and public figures calling on Americans to fill Democratic war chests ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
One campaign on ActBlue that went viral on liberal blog Daily Kos raised more than $836,000 in less than 24 hours, with the group pledging the money would be spread across 24 different Congressional districts held by Republicans which Donald Trump gained less than 50 percent of the vote in November. The Kos fund, along with several other funds, won’t go to individual candidates, but are instead earmarked for whomever becomes the nominee following the initial primary election.
Similar to how Republicans used Democrats’ passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a springboard to motivate their base to help make the 2010 Republican midterm wave possible, Democrats are aiming to do the same. While 24 Republican seats need to flip in order for Democrats to reclaim a House majority, the Cook Political Report is already estimating that at least 20 seats will flip to Democratic control in 2018.
Republicans seem to be aware that repealing Obamacare wouldn’t play well with constituents back home. AP Congressional reporter Erica Werner tweeted that 20 Republicans voted no on the House’s healthcare overhaul, with many of those representatives coming from swing states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. Other Republicans who voted no come from blue states like New York, New Jersey, and Washington state. The red state Republicans who voted against the bill (Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Rep. Will Hurd of Texas) represent districts with high rates of previously uninsured people who likely obtained health insurance through Obamacare.
20 Republicans voted No pic.twitter.com/GTuinsfLf5
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) May 4, 2017
For their part, Senate Republicans have said the House bill is dead on arrival, and are instead starting the process over by crafting their own healthcare bill to send to the House, assuming it gets the 51 votes necessary for passage through the budget reconciliation process.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.