Amid outrage from Democrats over the decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and a series of other controversial rulings on issues such as gun rights and regulating climate change, the campaign arm of the party working to elect Democratic candidates to state legislatures across the country announced its fundraising at its fastest pace ever and broke its second-quarter fundraising record.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and its affiliated organizations raked in $6.75 million in the fundraising period spanning April through June from donors in all 50 states. The fundraising haul broke their previous second-quarter fundraising record of $5.8 million set in 2020. The average donation was $23. The committee has also more than doubled its number of new donors compared to the first quarter of this year.
The influx of cash and new donors comes as state lawmakers are taking center stage in the fight over abortion rights. The DLCC had its best online fundraising of the cycle to date in the 48 hours following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe.
The court’s decision placed the authority to regulate abortion back with states. A growing number of Republican-controlled ones have already moved to ban abortion in all or most cases, and other state GOP leaders have signaled they intend to pass further restrictions. A growing number of states controlled by Democrats have been moving to further protect abortion rights.
“Grassroots engagement has skyrocketed following the decision overturning Roe and momentum is building to elect Democrats to state legislatures across the country,” said committee President Jessica Post. “Voters are outraged at Republicans’ stunning efforts to roll back our fundamental rights, and they understand that we must defeat them in state legislatures across the country.”
While Democrats in Washington have called for codifying Roe v. Wade nationally, they currently do not have enough support in the evenly split Senate to pass such legislation.
“State Democrats are the last line of defense for the future of our country. The DLCC is better resourced than ever before to defend Democratic seats, challenge the extremism of the GOP, and build long-term infrastructure for cycles to come,” said Post.
When it comes to control of state legislatures, Republicans have the upper hand: 62 state legislative chambers are controlled by Republicans while 36 are controlled by Democrats. In 23 states, Republicans control both chambers and the governor’s office – while Democrats only control all three in 14 states.
In at least 10 states, the future of abortion rights remains uncertain and could be decided by the midterms in several states. According to the committee, the biggest impact the party can have protecting abortion rights this November is by holding onto the majorities it has and in flipping chambers in five states from red to blue: Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
The record-breaking second quarter comes after the organization and its affiliates raised $6.5 million in the year’s first quarter, also breaking their previous first-quarter fundraising record, set in 2020.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, which works to elect GOP candidates to state office has not yet released its second-quarter fundraising figures. But the organization and its partnering State Government Leadership Foundation have previously dominated Democrats in fundraising for state legislature races. In the first quarter of this year, it surpassed its Democratic counterpart, raising more than $10 million.
CBS News reporter covering economic policy.
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