Steve King's opponent sees massive fundraising spike amid controversies

Steve King's opponent sees massive fundraising spike amid controversies

GOP Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingTrump, Biden deadlocked in Iowa: poll GOP leader: 'There is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party' Loomer win creates bigger problem for House GOP MORE’s Democratic opponent has reportedly seen a massive fundraising spike over the past two days as controversy swirls around the Iowa incumbent.

J.D. Scholten, a former professional baseball player running to unseat the lawmaker, raised more than $641,000 over Tuesday and Wednesday, his campaign told Politico.

The haul comes as King faces backlash over his comments about immigration and links to white nationalist groups.

He recently defended his support of a far-right political party in Austria with historical ties to Nazis, telling The Washington Post that if the party was in the U.S., they would be Republicans.

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He has also come under fire for tweeting support of a white nationalist candidate for Toronto mayor, and his backing of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. King has also repeatedly made incendiary comments about immigration and diversity.

Several companies earlier this week pulled their support for King’s campaign, and Republican leadership is facing pressure from within the party to take action against the lawmaker.

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Business groups back pandemic insurance bill modeled on post-9/11 law National Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus MORE called some of King’s behavior “completely inappropriate.”

Scholten’s campaign manager Irene Lin told Politico that the flood of donations came after Democratic firm Change Research released a poll showing the two candidates in a virtual tie.

“The poll definitely broke a dam,” Lin told Politico. “People thought, ‘Oh my God, Steve King can actually be beaten?’”

The Cook Political Report also recently changed its rating for the race from “likely” to “lean” Republican.

Scholten is planning to use the money to run a biographical television ad, according to Lin. King is expected to launch his first television ads this week.

King has pushed back on the criticism, calling his critics “cannibals.” He got into a fiery exchange with a reporter at a town hall on Thursday who asked if he was a white nationalist.