US Democrats ramp up campaign financing for midterm elections

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/2/14 18:16:23

US Democratic fundraisers are feverishly pulling out all the stops as midterm elections come in less than nine months, to reverse the political tide that put Republican Donald Trump in the White House a year ago.

"Democrats are very serious about unseating the most unpopular president in US history," said political analyst David Richardson, "and that begins by raising bucks to undermine his political support in Washington."

UPCOMING MIDTERM ELECTIONS

Signs of Trump's failure in the midterm elections resounded again Tuesday as Democrats won a Florida House special election in the state where the president prevailed by five points in 2016.

It was the 17th special election in a Republican-held state race to fall into Democratic hands since Trump was inaugurated, according to The Hill news.

"The 2018 midterm election will be a referendum on what America thinks of Trump and Republican control of three branches of government," said Richardson, a Capitol Hill policy analyst during the Ronald Reagan's administration.

"I predict that judgment will not be kind to Mr. Trump or the Republicans, and will signal that the country, on the margins, will not be fooled by Trump anymore, and wishes deeply to return to the better angels of our nature," Richardson told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Early indicators suggest that record numbers of donors have appeared to bolster Democratic chances in the elections.

Last month, billionaire Tom Steyer, the founder of hedge fund Farallon Capital, pledged 30 million US dollars into an effort to boost millennial voter turnout in this year's midterm elections to help Democrats take over Congress.

"Democratic candidates across the country are out-hustling and out-organizing Republican incumbents, many of whom have not faced a competitive challenge in a very long time and are struggling to find those old campaign muscles," Tyler Law, spokesperson of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said in a statement last week.

The DCCC itself had 38.9 million dollars cash on hand at the end of 2017, a record amount, but the National Republican Congressional Committee had also hauled in a record 43.6 million dollars, federal election data showed.

TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT?

According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, Trump's approval rating is 41 percent, only 2 points better than his lowest approval rating this year.

With Trump's ratings dropping again, Democrats are confident that 2018 will see a shift large enough for them to gain control both houses of Congress and thereby set the stage for the impeachment of America's 45th president.

"If Democrats don't win control of Congress, then the Mueller investigation is a waste of time," said Colorado businessman Glenn Nemhauser, noting that both houses must vote to impeach a president or the effort is quashed.

Robert Mueller is the special counsel overseeing the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"So many positive things going on for the USA. and the Fake News Media just doesn't want to go there. Same negative stories over and over again! No wonder the People no longer trust the media, whose approval ratings are correctly at their lowest levels in history!" the president tweeted on Sunday, as his approval ratings fell again.

Currently the Republicans hold 241 seats to the Democrats 194 in the House of Representatives. The Democrats need a net gain of 24 to win a majority.

A significant midterm swing, called a "wave," was last achieved in 2006 after Republican George Bush was elected president in 2004. The Democrats picked up 22 Republican seats, Republicans gained none, and Congress shifted from having a majority 232 Republicans to a majority 233 Democrats.

"Mueller's investigation into obstruction of justice charges against the president is coming to a close, and will end soon with his interview of the president," Nemhauser told Xinhua.

"That may also bolster Democratic chances for a wave in 2018, in order for the president to be actually impeached," Nemhauser said.

CANDIDATES AND MONEY

A Brookings Institute study last month revealed that Democrats were fielding a "record number" of candidates and raising money faster than any time before in history.

There were many more Democratic challengers at the end of 2017 than at any time since 2003, according to the study, which put the Republican class of 2009 in second place, with all others well behind. The GOP class of 2009 had fewer than half as many challengers as the Democrats of 2017, the study noted.

"If you're still wondering about the power of people like you who give 15 or 25 dollars to impact elections, look no further than last year's marquee races," Democratic National Committee (DNC) Finance Chairman Henry Munoz wrote in an appeal to donors last week.

"Grassroots donors helped the DNC invest $1.5 million to elect Ralph Northam as governor of Virginia," Munoz wrote, also citing support of Doug Jones against Trump ally Roy Moore last December in a US Senate Alabama special election as another DNC fundraising victory.

Newly released data from the Federal Election Commission showed that at least 55 Democratic candidates in competitive House races raised more than the Republican incumbents who the Democrats are challenging.

So far 21 GOP House members have announced that they will leave Washington, as well as three Republican senators, leaving a lot of open seats and requiring considerable Republicans investment to regain.

"It is accurate to call the president's attack of the media and members of his own party self-destructive," Richardson said.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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