GOP's 2022 fundraising platform lost millions last year — here's why
File photo - Scott Romney, brother of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, applauds with his daughter Ronna during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The Republican Party's vaunted WinRed fundraising platform lost millions of dollars in last year's midterm election cycle, according to GOP sources.

One GOP source familiar with the privately held entity's finances told HuffPo that WinRed lost $6 million over 2021 and 2022, while a second source confirmed the loss but said the amount wasn't nearly that high, though a seven-figure loss would represent a major failure.

“If you don’t understand payments, it’s easy to go broke,” said an online payment processing expert.

Republicans introduced WinRed during Donald Trump's presidency to counter the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue, which is a nonprofit, and GOP candidates and party organizations were essentially forced to use the for-profit, privately held company that split the proceeds 60-40 with two other for-profit companies, Revv and Data Trust.

Both WinRed and Revv were founded by former Republican National Committee and Trump White House staffer Gary Lansing, while Data Trust was set up in 2011 to hold voter data for GOP parties, candidates and causes to use.

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Republicans expressed frustration during the 2020 cycle when WinRed made more than $10 million, much of which found its way back to Lansing and his investors, and the RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee asked the platform to cut its fees, which it did.

WinRed announced in fall 2021 that it would drop its 30-cent fee on all transactions and instead raise its commission from 3.8 percent to 3.94 percent, which was just below ActBlue's 3.95 commission.

But ActBlue reported $2.2 billion in donations over the past two years for federal elections, while WinRed reported only $1.2 billion, and the GOP platform spent substantially on developing an in-house credit-card processing system in case its processing partner Stripe ended its relationship over the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“They had to eat that transaction fee, and that’s how they lost their ass,” said one Republican source. “If they had raised as much as they thought, they would have made a few million dollars.”

Editor's note: Price of the fee for transactions has been corrected.

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