Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign is in bad shape — but Matt Gaetz’s is even worse

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign is in bad shape — but Matt Gaetz’s is even worse
Matt Gaetz, MSNBC Screengrab

Back in July, we learned that the joint promotional tour of Rep. Matt Gaetz (linked to a Florida sex trafficking operation that led to the indictment of a key ally) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (booted off all House committees by her fellow Republicans for promoting sedition-based violence) was hemorrhaging money, bringing in a mere $60,000 after spending $300,000 to get it. Now we know that it's not just their nationwide self-promotion jaunt that's bleeding money: Their overall campaigns aren't faring much better.

Could it be that while their base, the frothingest far-right of the far-right, is willing to defend sex trafficking and violent rebellion, they're not willing to put their wallets where their mouths are? Maaaaaybe.

A new Mother Jones report highlights the latest financial reports from the two campaigns, and none of it looks good. As for that joint promotional tour and PAC, Mother Jones reports that the latest filings show it to be "nearly broke," with only $13,000 left in its accounts. It probably didn't help matters that the pair found themselves regularly being thrown out of venues after event center organizers got cold feet about hosting them, either.

But it's the campaign records that are more intriguing. In Greene's case, she's still bringing in significant cash, but it's how the cash is coming in that's getting alarming. For the last three months, 70% of Greene's fundraising haul went right back out to the people and companies doing the fundraising; it appears Greene's campaign is now fully mired in the sort of sketchy high-cost, low-reward fundraising pushes that have plagued other, similarly sketchy Republican campaigns. Greene "spent more than $1 million to haul in $1.5 million," reports Mother Jones. That's big money, but it's mostly big money for the direct mail consultants and others sucking up most of the cash Greene's remaining donors are willing to contribute.

Gaetz, though, is another story. It appears that the fringe Republican base has decided that promoting insurrectionist lies is less bad than being an accused sex trafficker, because Gaetz's fundraising has been dismal. Gaetz's fundraising numbers have gone into the red, with $527,000 raised in the last three months on $627,000 of expenses. His campaign fundraising, in other words, lost him $100,000.

Despite Gaetz continuing to enjoy the steadfast support of fellow congressional perverts—sorry, "House Republicans"—such as Jim Jordan and the like, there are signs that Gaetz's actual voter base is losing interest in propping up the not-yet-indicted, still-insufferable sleazeball. All three of Gaetz's most prominent fundraising channels have crashed and burned in recent months, with his Greene-partnered Sex and Violence fundraising tour going bust, his recently released book absolutely tanking, and now his campaign itself in a nosedive.

And it's not like Gaetz can count on the Republican Party to boost his book sales with one of their infamous bulk book buys. They're waiting this one out. The number of people who want to see books by accused sex traffickers in their party gift bags are already low, and if he's indicted it will be lower still.

This is all fine and good, but what does it mean for Greene and Gaetz's actual reelection chances? It's too early to say. At minimum, it means the national Republican base is growing cold on both of them; while being a violence-adjacent, crime-adjacent, or overall performatively gross person used to have a bit of cachet for the base, that description now applies to so many new Republican stars that Greene and Gaetz barely register anymore. They're expendable figures to a base being overrun with fundraising requests from dozens of other would-be Republican leaders who have similarly impeccable credentials when it comes to Dear Leader worship, advocacy for sedition, or being a dumpster fire of humanity's worst compulsions.

If either of the pair find themselves in a real cash squeeze, they won't necessarily find the party running to come help. Both, however, have the advantage of coming from two of the most deplorable-friendly districts around. Greene may yet find that her pro-sedition, violence-suggesting stances are now her Republican Party's mainstream position come 2022, and coast back to office for her bravery in suggesting her political opponents be met with force before it became the default party position. Gaetz's local voters may be tiring of giving him cash, but when push comes to shove most of those Florida Republicans would gladly put even a convicted sex trafficker back in Congress if the alternative was, well, anyone even marginally less gross.

There's not really much chance that their Republican voters will abandon either of the two, and it's entirely possible that the more desperate and paranoid the pair act, the more the deplorables of the fringe right will rally to them. From these most recent fundraising totals, however, we can see that neither Greene nor Gaetz are really "inspiring" that nationwide deplorable base like they once did. There are other sex traffickers the far-right can rally around. There are plenty other fascist rabble-rousers. There are online Ponzi schemes to invest in, and gold coins to buy, and "survival buckets," and all the other products conservative mailing lists bombard their readers with.

Maybe the Greene-Gaetz base spent all their money on ammo and survival buckets and just don't have anything left to give?

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