Donations are pouring in to congressional campaigns in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection -- regardless of which side lawmakers were on.
Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) each raised around $1 million in the three months since the riot, which the North Carolina Republican helped encourage with a fiery speech beforehand supporting Donald Trump while the New Jersey Democrats helped Capitol custodians clean up the mess afterward, reported The Daily Beast.
"People recognize it wasn't just Jan. 6 — it was the election results and the fact that I think Trump was stronger than a lot of people were necessarily expecting," Kim told The Beast, "and Republicans made gains in the House in ways that, again, I think a lot of people weren't necessarily expecting … It was a combination of those things that showed people that we've got a long road ahead of us."
The last election cycle cost an estimated $14.4 billion, and many expected donors to hold back in this so-called "off year," with the midterms nearly two years away, but incumbents and early challengers announced historic hauls in the months since Trump supporters tried to violently overturn his election loss.
"After 2020 there was an open question of whether Democratic donors would stay engaged once Trump had exited," said Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson. "This report answers that question."
Liberal donors tended to boost the Democratic Party's most vulnerable incumbents, the filings show, while GOP donors gave the most to prominent Trumpists in safely red districts.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), for example, took in a whopping $3.2 million, while other staunchly pro-Trump lawmakers such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Cawthorn were among the top Republican fundraisers.
Pro-impeachment Republicans also took in more money than usual, however.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) raised more than $1.5 million, five times more than the first quarter of 2020, while the other nine GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump also took in far more than usual.
"Going into my first re-elect obviously not taking the easy path when it comes to re-election," said Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), who voted to impeach. "I tend to think that voters value leaders who will exercise judgment and discretion."
Political experts believe the record hauls may forecast a new reality of never-ending campaign cycles, but this year's unusual trends may be lingering anxiety from the Trump presidency.
"Campaign fundraising and online fundraising has been exponentially growing cycle after cycle, but these first quarter numbers look like a natural growth, plus a supercharge," Ferguson said. "There's extra fuel in the tank because people are genuinely worried not just about Trump, but about what's taken control of the Republican Party."