Politics

Money Floods the Race for Control of Congress, More Than a Year Early

“You’re a traitor …” began one such House G.O.P. text earlier this week. “You abandoned Trump.”

The text gave a false deadline of 17 minutes to donate. “This is your final chance to prove your loyalty or be branded a deserter,” it read.

The House G.O.P. committee, which declined to comment on its tactics, said it had raised nearly 44 percent of its funds last quarter online.

“Democrats have owned online fund-raising, and that is no longer true,” said former Representative Tom Davis, who previously led the House Republican campaign arm. “Republicans now are the ones who are obsessed and aroused. People voted for Biden to get Trump out of their living rooms. But they didn’t vote for all his policies.”

Most Republican strategists hope to keep the focus on Democrats, knowing voters typically want to put a check on those in power. But Mr. Trump’s continued insistence on making his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen a central rallying cry for the G.O.P. — “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020,” Mr. Trump warned in a statement this week, “Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24” — is a complicating factor.

“If it’s a referendum on Biden’s policies, we will do very well,” Mr. Graham said of the 2022 midterms. “If it’s looking back, if it’s a grievance campaign, then we could be in trouble.”

Mr. Emmer tried to distance himself from Mr. Trump’s remarks, saying, “He’s a private citizen, and he, of course, is entitled to his own opinion.” Still, Mr. Emmer added that he was “honored” that the former president would headline the committee’s fall fund-raising dinner. “He remains the biggest draw in our party,” he said.

Congressional leaders are the other leading party fund-raisers. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican minority leader, and his top deputy, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, have transferred a combined total of nearly $30 million to their party committees this year, party officials said.

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