Two top outside groups designed to support Senate Republicans raised $42 million in August, a massive haul that shows the fervor with which GOP donors are training their focus – and dollars – on maintaining control of the upper chamber.
The gigantic fundraising number by Senate Leadership Fund and the related One Nation, groups with strong ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), helps underscore a driving dynamic this election: Donors, skeptical of Donald Trump and increasingly convinced he will lose in November, are turning away from the presidential race in an effort to save their legislative firewall on Capitol Hill.
The two groups have raised nearly $100 million this election cycle and August – a typically slow fundraising period – was their best month.
“Most donors go away; they go on vacation, they don’t want to talk about politics and they don’t want to write checks,” Steven Law, executive director of the Senate Leadership Fund and president of One Nation, told POLITICO. “There was an earth-shattering explosion of donor interest and support … Far beyond anything we’ve seen in any previous cycle. Basically August was the month that donors rolled up their sleeves and got in the game.”Law is CEO of the Crossroads groups. Last month, Josh Israel wrote at ThinkProgress:
American Crossroads reported just about $2.7 million raised as of its July 2016 disclosure. Crossroads GPS, which does not disclose its donors or report its finances to the FEC, has made no independent expenditures at all this cycle and its website appears to be unchanged since June 2015.
While One Nation has spent about $20 million so far this cycle in support of Republican Senate candidates, the Crossroads groups have been largely silent. In fact, $135,378 in independent attacks, by American Crossroads against Hillary Clinton, are the only reported expenditures for either entity so far this cycle.