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GOP online fundraising platform raises nearly $130 million for Republicans in first quarter

GOP online fundraising platform raises nearly $130 million for Republicans in first quarter
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WinRed, the GOP’s digital fundraising clearinghouse, raised more than $129 million for Republicans in the first three months of the year, nearly doubling its fundraising from the final quarter of 2019.

The group’s president, Gerrit Lansing, said in a memo that the $129.6 million total was powered by roughly 1 million donors who each gave 3.2 times on average. The average contribution size was $39.83, he said.

WinRed, which launched last summer as the GOP’s answer to the Democratic fundraising behemoth ActBlue, was met with a measure of skepticism last year from some in the party.

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Republicans are counting on the platform to raise money ahead of the November elections as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE seeks a second term and House Republicans grapple with a series of high-profile retirements.

In the third quarter of 2019 — WinRed’s first full fundraising period — it reported raising only about $31 million for Republicans. That number more than doubled in the fourth quarter of the year to $70 million.

But the nine-figure fundraising haul in the first quarter of 2020 suggests that it has gained traction among Republicans. Lansing said that some 787 campaigns are actively using WinRed in their fundraising efforts.

In the memo, Lansing acknowledged a broad “disruption to traditional fundraising in the last few weeks” as the coronavirus pandemic has caused businesses to close, markets to reel and workers to be laid off. 

But he also said that WinRed helped bring some stability to GOP campaigns due to recurring donations — those in which donors agree to make weekly or monthly contributions through the platform.

About $29 million of the $129.6 million total came from such recurring donations, Lansing wrote.

WinRed centralizes Republican fundraising efforts by creating an online portal donors can use to contribute to the candidate or political committee of their choice. Democrats have used a similar platform, ActBlue, since 2004, allowing the party's candidates and committees to rake in billions of dollars over the years.

WinRed's structure also allows cash-flush groups like Trump's campaign to direct small dollar donors to down-ballot campaigns that may be in need of funding.