(Bloomberg) -- Democratic donors pumped $1.3 billion into the coffers of their party’s candidates and causes in 2021 via ActBlue, its online fundraising platform, the group said, more than double what GOP online contributors gave last year.
The surge in cash tops the record $1.1 billion in online donations given in 2019 and suggests that not all political enthusiasm lies with the Republicans ahead of the November midterms.
ActBlue’s 2021 haul was more than twice the $559 million the GOP contributors gave last year through that party’s online platform, WinRed. ActBlue had 4.5 million donors who made 35.3 million contributions to 17,876 campaigns and organizations.
“Grassroots donors fueled the biggest off-year ever through their support for campaigns at all levels of office, and they’re showing up for the issues and causes they care about,” said Erin Hill, Executive Director of ActBlue.
The Democrats’ cash included $352 million giving in the fourth quarter, when the average contribution size was a little more than $41.
Donors increased their giving across the board, ActBlue said, pouring more money into state and local races and nonprofit organizations. Giving to candidates running for Secretary of State, who oversee elections in many states, was up six-fold over 2017, the last year after a presidential election cycle.
The group didn’t specify how much of the money went to federal candidates and committees. It will have to disclose that total to the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 31, when all committees are due to file reports with the agency.
The cash infusion comes as Democrats face headwinds ahead of the 2022 midterms. President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have seen their poll numbers drop amid rising inflation, the ongoing pandemic and an inability to pass key parts of their legislative agenda, including social spending measures and voting rights.
The generic congressional ballot, which asks which party a voter prefers, favors the GOP by 4.1%, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Democrats led by 6.7% as recently as June.
The House is narrowly divided, with Democrats holding 222 seats compared to 212 for Republicans and two seats vacant. The Senate is deadlocked at 50-50.
Historically, the president’s party loses seats in the midterms. Nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers have announced that they won’t seek re-election this year and redistricting in a number of Republican-led states also favors a GOP majority in November.
Democrats have long enjoyed an advantage in online fundraising. ActBlue, which launched in 2004, has raised $9.6 billion since. WinRed, which won Trump’s backing as the GOP version, has raised $2.7 billion since it started operations in June 2019.
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