By Jason Lange and David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House of Representatives Republicans who supported former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his election defeat on average raised less in campaign funds in the first three months of the year than those who opposed it, federal records show.
Sixty-five House Republicans who voted in January to accept election results that put President Joe Biden in the White House raised about $360,000 on average for their re-election campaigns, according to a Reuters review of Federal Election Commission disclosures through Thursday’s filing deadline.
That is about 25% higher than the roughly $290,000 on average raised by re-election campaigns for 136 House Republicans who voted in support of Trump’s false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread election fraud.
Among prominent House Republicans who voted against Trump’s claims, Wyoming’s Liz Cheney raised $1.5 million, Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger took in over $1 million and Washington state’s Jamie Herrera Beutler raised more than $700,000.
Some individual Trump backers, however, out-raised them.
Firebrand freshman Marjorie Taylor Greene raised $3.2 million in her first three months in office. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and No. 2 Steve Scalise, who both voted to object to the presidential results, raised $2.9 million and $3.2 million, respectively.
The vote to support Trump’s claims came just hours after hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the election results, leaving five dead.
The figures show the effect of vows by some corporate-controlled donor groups not to support lawmakers who voted in support of Trump’s false claim.
Democrats won the White House and narrow margins of control in both houses of Congress in November’s election. Both parties are gearing up for the 2022 midterm elections, when the full House and one-third of the Senate will be up for election.
‘STRAW IN THE WIND’
Republicans have history on their side, as the president’s party typically loses seats in the first midterm election after taking office. If they succeed in winning a majority in either or both houses, they could use that to block Biden’s agenda.
“These figures may well be an interesting straw in the wind about political sentiments in early 2021,” said William Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “But whether that money gap turns out to have a significant impact on the political performance of candidates, on one side or the other of the Jan. 6 breach, is a different question.”
The party as a whole did well: the National Republican Congressional Committee said it raised $33.7 million in the first quarter, a record for a year without congressional elections. Its Democratic counterpart has not yet reported first-quarter results.
The data includes filings from the 201 Republicans who won House seats in November and are seeking re-election in 2022 after casting votes on whether to accept Biden’s victory.
Political action committees, or PACs, which include the corporate committees as well as other institutional donor groups, gave more than twice as much to lawmakers who voted to uphold the election. Many of those lawmakers also represent more competitive districts, making fundraising more important to their success.
Dozens of large U.S. companies vowed to halt donations to Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the election loss. Their pledges drew significant attention, which belied the fact that corporate money in recent years has played a smaller role in U.S. politics, with small individual donations representing a greater share.
Large donors also showed signs of favoring Republicans who voted to accept Biden’s victory, who on average took in about $150,000 from individuals giving more than $200. Republicans who voted to overturn Biden’s win on average raised about $100,000 from large donors.
The gap could also suggest that House Republicans who voted to certify the 2020 election have a greater impetus to raise campaign donations because they are in more competitive districts or anticipate primary challenges.
“A higher percentage of the people who voted to certify are in competitive districts,” said Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
(Reporting by Jason Lange and David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler)