Election deniers raising less than opponents in key races: research

Rep. Mark Finchem, of Arizona, gestures as he speaks during an election rally in Richmond, Va.
Associated Press/Steve Helber

2020 election deniers in some of the biggest state races across the country are raising far less money than their opponents, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice.

In 2020 former President Trump claimed that the election was “stolen” and “rigged” as a result of widespread voter fraud following his loss to President Biden. Those claims have been refuted by high-profile state and federal elections officials including former Trump Attorney General William Barr.

Since then, many Trump-aligned Republican candidates running for various positions in public office have also claimed that the 2020 election was stolen.

The analysis shows donations to secretary of state races across six battleground states —Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin — have totaled $26.4 million, more than double the amount raised at this point in the 2018 election cycle.

In Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Minnesota, election deniers running for secretary of state are raising a lot less money than their Democratic opponents.

In Arizona’s secretary of state race, Democratic nominee Adrian Fontes has far outraised Republican nominee Mark Finchem, a prominent 2020 election denier, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Fontes has raised $2.4 million as of Sept. 30, compared to Finchem at $1.8 million in the same period.

Finchem, an Arizona state lawmaker, told CBS’s Scott Pelley, without citing evidence, that the 2020 election was tainted by voter fraud. He said that it was a defect in the system.

In Michigan, the fundraising discrepancy is even wider, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson raised $4.2 million through Sept. 16 for her reelection bid. Her opponent, Kristina Karamo, raised just $907,000 in the same period.

The races for secretary of state are critical because the position holds power over future elections in their states.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol highlighted how former President Trump, who continues to falsely claim the 2020 election was stolen, pushed state officials to offer an alternate slate of electors.

Republican election deniers running for governor in battleground states have also been out-raised by their Democratic opponents. Those states include Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Nevada.

In Michigan and Pennsylvania gubernatorial races, election deniers are being outraised by a 10-to-1 ratio, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Tags 2022 Midterms House Adrian Fontes Adrian Fontes Arizona Biden Bill Barr Brennan Center for Justice election deniers fundraising Jocelyn Benson Jocelyn Benson Kristina Karamo Mark Fincehm Mark Finchem Michigan William Barr

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