Republicans in battleground states are paying the price for their support of Donald Trump.
Big donors who have historically given millions to state Republican parties are now refusing to fund them, largely because they don’t want to be associated with the party’s support for Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
This is having a significant impact on the finances of Republican parties in battleground states like Arizona and Michigan. In Arizona, the GOP had cash reserves of less than $50,000 at the end of March, down from $770,000 four years ago. Michigan’s GOP had $116,000 in its federal account, down from $867,000 two years ago.
These low cash reserves are making it difficult for Republican parties to help candidates in the upcoming elections. In the first three months of this year, Michigan’s GOP raised just $51,000, less than a quarter of what it brought in in 2019. Arizona’s GOP raised $139,000, compared to $330,000 in 2019.
The financial problems of Republican parties in battleground states are being compounded by the legal fees they have incurred as a result of their support for Trump’s election claims. Arizona’s GOP spent $300,000 on “legal consulting” last year, including payments involving lawsuits filed seeking to overturn Trump’s defeat in the state.
The refusal of big donors to fund Republican parties in battleground states is a major blow to the party’s chances of winning elections in these states in 2024. As Jason Roe, a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, put it, “They are effectively broke and I don’t see the clouds parting and the sun coming out on their fundraising abilities.”
The financial problems of Republican parties in battleground states are a sign of the deep divisions within the party. The party’s embrace of Trump’s false election claims has alienated many moderate and independent voters, and it is now starting to cost the party money. If the party wants to be successful in future elections, it will need to find a way to bridge these divisions.
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