GOP online donor platform expanded to state level
The GOP’s online donation platform is being made available to Republican candidates running for state and local offices as the party makes a push to boost fundraising ahead of critical down-ballot battles, some of which can impact how congressional districts are drawn.
WinRed, which was launched in 2019 to try to offset Democrats’ financial windfall through ActBlue, announced Friday that it is teaming up with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) to expand its platform to all Republican candidates. The website provides tools such as one-click donating and gives donors the option to make recurring contributions.
“ActBlue had a 15-year head-start, but WinRed is catching up fast, and today’s expansion to state and local campaigns is an exciting step in that direction,” WinRed President Gerrit Lansing said in a press release. “By bringing together every Republican campaign in America onto one platform with the best tools and technology, we’re raising our online fundraising game to the next level.”
Though much of the focus of the 2020 cycle will be on the presidential battle between President Trump and presumably former Vice President Joe Biden, the country is littered with competitive contests for the control of state legislatures that will handle congressional redistricting in 2021.
“Left-wing megadonors have been funneling unheard-of sums of money into the states to buy up legislative majorities that would allow Democrats to gerrymander themselves into power in Washington for a decade; Republicans need every available resource to fight back,” said RSLC President Austin Chambers. “We have one goal: winning. And today represents an important step towards getting the job done.”
Republicans have found themselves behind the eight ball in online donations in recent years as ActBlue, founded in 2004, emerged as a fundraising juggernaut for Democrats. The GOP also faced a number of disappointing defeats in 2018 and 2019 at the state level, losing a handful of governorships and ceding control of the entire Virginia state government to Democrats.
However, the GOP is optimistic that WinRed will help level the playing field, having already filtered $130 million to Republican candidates for federal office in the first three months of 2020, and state lawmakers said they are eager to get a piece of the action.
“It’s no secret that Democrats have had a huge fundraising advantage on Republicans for the past several cycles — I saw it firsthand last year in my race in Virginia,” said Virginia state Sen. Jen Kiggans (R). “I know that WinRed will help to close that gap for me and Republicans in every corner of the country. That’s why I signed up the moment I could, and encourage my colleagues to do the same.”