September 20, 2020

ActBlue, the Democratic Party's donation-processing site, received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday, executive director Erin Hill said in a statement. That figure was the result of 1.5 million contributions, indicating the looming battle over confirming Ginsburg's replacement on the high court will be a priority for both parties as the November election nears.

Donors set the single-day donation mark by pouring in $70.6 million on Saturday, surging past the previous one-day high of $41.6 million. The 1.2 million contributions on Saturday also set a daily record since ActBlue launched 16 years ago.

The hourly record was set consecutively Friday evening after the news broke, first during the 9 p.m. ET hour and again during the 10 p.m. hour at $6.2 million and $6.3 million, respectively. The previous record was $4.3 million in one hour. As the pattern suggests, the number of contributions made during the 10 p.m. hour was record-breaking, as well. Read more at Axios. Tim O'Donnell

September 19, 2020

The battle over Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's now-vacant seat was already in full swing just hours after it began.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made it clear he wants to fast-track the confirmation of Ginsburg's replacement and said President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the Senate floor. The president, for his part, said Republicans have an "obligation" to confirm his nominee, whoever it may be, "without delay."

But Democrats also made their position clear. In the 9 p.m. ET hour on Friday, after Ginsburg's death was announced, donors gave $6.2 million online to Democratic causes. That's the most money ever given in a single hour since ActBlue, the party's donation-processing site launched 16 years ago, The New York Times reports. Then, in the 10 p.m. hour, Democratic donors set another record by giving $6.3 million.

ActBlue doesn't specify where donations go in real time, but one page created by Crooked Media — a media company set up by former Obama administration aides and home to the Pod Save America podcast — called "Get Mitch or Die Trying" (in reference to McConnell) raised more than $3 million in about three hours, the Times reports, and was headed toward $13 million as of Saturday afternoon (at that time, ActBlue had processed $46 million overall since Ginsburg's death.) The proceeds will be divided among 13 different Democrats running for Senate this year. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

September 13, 2020

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has set his sights on Florida as he attempts to help push the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, into the Oval Office, The Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg plans to spend at least $100 million campaigning for Biden in Florida, though his advisers refused to say if the total dollar figure would actually be higher, acknowledging only that it's a "nine figure" plan.

Democratic strategists have been waiting to see how Bloomberg, who spent more than $1 billion of his own money on a failed bid for the White House earlier this year, would put his vast wealth to use this election cycle, and, for now at least, the Sunshine State is the beneficiary, with most of the money going toward television and digital ads in both English and Spanish. Bloomberg's adviser Kevin Sheekey said the billionaire believes investing in Florida will allow the Biden campaign and other outside Democratic groups — who have generally shied away from advertising in Florida because it's too expensive, the Post notes — to spend in other states, especially Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg is also reportedly hoping to encourage early voting in the state, which begins Sept. 24, so that a potential Biden win could be called soon after polls close since Florida reports early ballots shortly after voting ends. In that case, there would theoretically be less confusion among the public over who won not jut Florida, but the election overall. Winning Florida would go a long a way for Biden, the Post reports. If he does, he could likely win the presidency by retaining every state Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and winning just one other toss up state among Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Biden is holding on to a lead in Florida, but some polls indicate it's shrinking as he struggles to win over Latino voters in the state. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

June 1, 2020

ActBlue, the organization that processes money raised for Democratic candidates and causes, showed the party drew in $19 million in donations on Sunday alone and $40 million between Friday and Sunday, The New York Times reports.

Sunday's total registers as the single largest day of giving all year, topping every presidential primary debate and election night (the previous high was $18.3 million, when former Vice President Joe Biden won South Carolina's primary.) The sum was also double the amount given the final day of April.

Nationwide protests against police brutality are the reason behind the surge in fundraising. The demonstrations also led to major donations to several charities throughout the country in a matter of days, including $20 million to The Minnesota Freedom Fund, a foundation that pays bail for those who can't afford it.

ActBlue doesn't disclose how donations are divided between candidates and causes, but a spokesperson for the site told the Times that half of the donations linked to the protests went to charitable causes. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

January 16, 2020

It seemed odd on Thursday morning when Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) snapped at CNN reporter Manu Raju after he asked her a non-controversial question about impeachment, but now that there's already a fundraising effort based on her calling Raju "a liberal hack," it makes sense.

Raju asked McSally if she believes the Senate should consider new evidence in Trump's impeachment trial, a question he's posed to several other lawmakers on this historic occasion. Instead of saying, "Yes," "No," "Maybe," or "I'm not sure," McSally responded, "Manu, you're a liberal hack. I'm not talking to you. You're a liberal hack." People were shocked by her reaction, and many of Raju's colleagues called on her to apologize.

But then an hour later, a clip labeled "Martha McSally wrecks CNN!" was posted on President Trump's campaign Twitter, along with the caption: "THREE CHEERS for Senator @MarthaMcSally!!! THIS is how you handle FAKE NEWS @CNN. DONATE to Martha NOW." McSally, who lost her 2018 Senate race to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), was appointed to the Senate in 2019 following the resignation of Jon Kyl. Astronaut Mark Kelly, a Democrat, is hoping to unseat her in November. Kelly's campaign has $6 million more in the bank, and a new poll shows him leading McSally by 4 percentage points. Catherine Garcia

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