These anti-Trump Republicans are way ahead of Trump-backed candidates in fundraising: report
Countless Republican politicians, especially in red states, live in terror of saying or doing anything that might offend former President Donald Trump and lead to an aggressive primary challenge — which is something that Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and others in the GOP are facing for daring to criticize the former president. But according to CNN reporter Fredreka Schouten, some of the Republicans Trump opposes are enjoying stronger fundraising than the Republicans he is endorsing.
"Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Fred Upton of Michigan drew Trump's condemnation for their impeachment votes in his January trial in the House," Schouten explains. "All three collected more money in the third fundraising quarter than their Trump-endorsed rivals, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. And Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump in February, raised nearly $1.1 million in the July-to-September quarter — more than twice the $465,945 collected by Kelly Tshibaka, who Trump endorsed earlier this year."
Murkowski, who is conservative but not far-right, committed a cardinal sin in the eyes of Trumpsters when she voted "guilty" in Trump's second impeachment trial — and the MAGA crowd also resents her for voting against Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 and voting against overturning the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare.
Nonetheless, Schouten reports that Murkowski "ended September with more than $3.2 million in cash reserves — more than ten times the amount Tshibaka had remaining in her campaign account."
One of Trump's most vocal GOP critics in Congress has been Cheney. The arch-conservative daughter of former President Dick Cheney not only voted to impeach Trump in January — she is also one of two right-wing Republicans who is part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select commission on the January 6 insurrection (the other is Kinzinger).
At least seven Wyoming Republicans have entered the GOP congressional primary in Rep. Cheney's district to challenge her; the one Trump has endorsed is attorney Harriet Hageman. According to Schouten, "Cheney ended September with more than $3.6 million in the bank to Hageman's $245,000."
Republicans who are campaigning for Rep. Cheney include former President George W. Bush and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. And Schouten notes that Cheney has "several prominent Democratic donors" as well, including "Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg."
That Democratic support from Katzenberg and others isn't because they have suddenly become neocons, but more a reflection of the intense disdain that Trump inspires among so many Democrats.
Schouten explains, "The Cheney-Hageman race is shaping up as a key proxy fight between Trump and the traditional establishment Republican world from which Cheney hails and a high-profile test of Trump's ability to purge his critics from power…. In announcing the third-quarter haul in the Casper Star-Tribune earlier this week, Cheney campaign adviser Amy Edmonds said the three-term congresswoman is receiving 'historic levels of support because she is upholding her oath to the Constitution.'"
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