GOP challengers spent big in blue districts, lost bids for House seats

Be careful where you donate.  Make the money work to defeat a Democrat and elect a Republican—not to give a candidate the high life of wine, five star hotels and unlimited first class travel and the life style of the rich and famous.  Yes, we want Maxine Waters defeated—this is how the last candidate spent millions—and he is going to do it again.

“Another hot race came out of California’s 43rd District. Joe Collins raised more than $8 million in his race to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who raised just over $1.6 million. Around 75 percent of Collins’ funds came from a loyal base of small donors, while small-dollar contributions made up less than 3 percent of Waters’ total, and just under 48 percent of her finances came from PACs. 

By Election Day, Collins had shelled out $7.5 million to Waters’ $1.4 million, but Waters emerged as the winner with around 72 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. 

Last year, Collins’s campaign spent lavishly on Uber rides, steakhouse dinners, flights and nights at five-star hotels. In August 2019, Collins posted photos with Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Guiliani at a Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons — an event he got to by donating $5,600 from his campaign to Trump’s joint fundraising committee. His campaign also shelled out thousands of dollars at Trump’s hotel in Washington, between an event in July and a stay in September.”

Last year Collins was sued by San Diego County for being a deadbeat dad—four children with three women and no child support.  And his GOP opponent in the 2020 primary, just finished spending six months in jail for stalking.  Then got out a couple of weeks ago after 90 days in jail—for stalking and making felony threats.  Be careful who you donate to.

GOP challengers spent big in blue districts, lost bids for House seats

By Ollie Gratzinger, Center for Responsive Politics,  11/10/20 

In the aftermath of an expensive election, some House hopefuls — including GOP challengers in deep-blue districts — lost big despite raising and spending far more. 

In Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, Kimberly Klacik, Republican challenger to Baltimore’s Rep. Kweisi Mfume, made headlines after raising more than $6.4 million between July and September. Mfume, who succeeded the late Rep. Elijah Cummings in a largely Democratic and predominantly Black district, reported raising only around $184,000 during the same quarter. President Donald Trump promoted Klacik on Twitter, while a viral campaign ad spurred donations. But Mfume maintained his seat was “not for sale.” 

And, come Nov. 3, he was proven right. 

According to data from OpenSecrets, Klacik spent roughly $4.8 million to Mfume’s $602,661, but Mfume held on to his seat in a landslide victory. With 82 percent reporting as of Tuesday morning, Mfume took 71.9 percent of the votes in District 7.

Klacik claimed in a tweet that she’d beaten Mfume in day-of voting, early voting and mail-in voting, echoing Trump’s sentiments that the election had been stolen by Democrats. But Maryland’s deputy elections administrator said there was no evidence of voter fraud, and the State Board of Elections website shows that Klacik got fewer votes than Mfume in all three categories she claimed she’d won.

Another hot race came out of California’s 43rd District. Joe Collins raised more than $8 million in his race to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who raised just over $1.6 million. Around 75 percent of Collins’ funds came from a loyal base of small donors, while small-dollar contributions made up less than 3 percent of Waters’ total, and just under 48 percent of her finances came from PACs. 

By Election Day, Collins had shelled out $7.5 million to Waters’ $1.4 million, but Waters emerged as the winner with around 72 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. 

Last year, Collins’s campaign spent lavishly on Uber rides, steakhouse dinners, flights and nights at five-star hotels. In August 2019, Collins posted photos with Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Guiliani at a Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons — an event he got to by donating $5,600 from his campaign to Trump’s joint fundraising committee. His campaign also shelled out thousands of dollars at Trump’s hotel in Washington, between an event in July and a stay in September.

In Minnesota District 5, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won re-election, along with her three fellow “Squad” members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). But Omar was far outraised by a Republican challenger with a fat wallet. With the support of small donors, Lacy Johnson’s roughly $10 million nearly doubled Omar’s $5.4 million. Johnson spent nearly $9.7 million, breaking spending records in Minnesota and blowing 2018 totals out of the water.

For comparison’s sake, Omar raised just over $1 million in 2018, and Republican candidate Jennifer Zielinski raised only $23,355. Johnson’s $10 million haul marks a 44,000 percent increase from the last cycle, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory. Omar still claimed 64.5 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 25.9 percent, and Michael Moore of the Legal Marijuana Now party received 9.6 percent.

Far-right media personality and self-described Islamophobe Laura Loomer, who had the support of the president, lost her bid for a House seat in Florida’s 21st Congressional District — the largely Democratic district Trump himself votes in. Over the summer, she won a six-way Republican primary, raising more than $1 million due to support from right-wing talk-show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Trump ally Roger Stone and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

But Loomer lost to Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) despite outspending the now five-term incumbent.

According to OpenSecrets data, Loomer spent more than $2.5 million, and Frankel spent around $1.1 million. But with 59 percent of the vote, Frankel held onto her seat, and Loomer — who received 39.2 percent of the vote, lost.

The 2020 election cycle was the most expensive in U.S. history at $14 billion — twice as much as 2016. Women donated in record numbers, and out-of-state donors gave big in Senate and congressional races around the country. Congressional spending in races like those won by Mfume, Waters, Omar and Frankel totaled around $7.2 billion; in 2016, that number was just over $4 billion.

The House GOP came up short in its efforts to gain a majority. In Oklahoma’s 5th District, Republicans unseated Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), whose victory was a 2018 surprise after Trump swept the district in the 2016 cycle. Stephanie Bice beat the incumbent despite only raising around $3 million and spending $2.7 million. Horn raised approximately $5.4 million, spending $4.5 million. Bice did, however, have a small advantage over Horn in outside money.

Many GOP challengers in swing districts were far outraised. Nonetheless, Republican candidates generally overperformed. In nine of the most competitive races, Democrats outraised Republicans by more than $3 million. Some GOP challengers who barely lost might’ve benefitted from donations that instead went to candidates running in deep-blue districts.

New Mexico’s 2nd District flipped when GOP challenger Yvette Herrell beat incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), despite raising more than $5 million less. Republican Carlos Gimenez also unseated a Democratic incumbent despite a considerable cash deficit; he’d raised $4 million less than Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. GOP candidates also claimed two open seats in Virginia and Texas, winning toss-up races but still falling just short of a GOP House majority.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Dr. W. Trent Saxton says

    You would be better off supporting a candidate in a RED state than donating to any congressional candidate in California. This state will be Blue…long past your life on earth.

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