By Brooke Singman
Published October 09, 2018
The historic clash over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation has fueled a fundraising bonanza for both political parties, according to newly released figures that underscore how the fight has fired up voters in the final stretch before November's midterms.
The grueling confirmation process ignited passions for Democrats and Republicans. Kavanaugh critics came out by the thousands to protest his nomination in the face of sexual misconduct allegations which he denied, while recent Fox News polls indicate the drama abruptly engaged Republican voters who had been staying on the sidelines.
And members of both parties, it seems, opened their wallets wide in response.
“The left’s angry mob has Republicans energized,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted Monday. “In the first week of October, we raised 500 % MORE online than we did in the first week of September. Let’s keep that momentum going and #DefyHistory on Nov 6th!”
An RNC spokesperson told Fox News that the party did see a 500 percent increase in donations during the first week of October, raising a total of $5.7 million from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5—that included a record $2.2 million in online donations alone on the last day in September.
The spokesperson said the RNC also saw three separate days in September where more than 1,000 new online donors registered and contributed to the party. The RNC also reported a record 50 million voter contacts, surpassing their total for the 2016 presidential election cycle.
“Republicans are delivering on results. We have kick-started our economy, jobs are coming back, wages are up. People are feeling better, their lives are better,” McDaniel said on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” last week. “So it is a really clear choice: do you want results from Republicans or resistance from Democrats?”
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which handles GOP House races, also saw a 418 percent increase in online donations in the first week of October, compared with the same period in September.
“The SCOTUS fight is having an undeniable impact on the GOP base,” NRCC Communications Director Matt Gorman tweeted last week, citing a 194 percent increase in “low-dollar” fundraising.
But Democrats have also seen a surge in fundraising. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is in charge of House races, said it raised $400,000 in the hours following testimony from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford. In dramatic testimony, she said Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her at a high school party -- the nominee adamantly denied the allegations before the same committee. The DCCC also raised $4.38 million from the end of September to Oct. 5—the day Kavanaugh secured the votes in the Senate to be confirmed.
And according to Axios, ActBlue, the online fundraising platform for Democrats, raised nearly $10 million on Oct. 5, and another $9 million on Oct. 6, the day the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh.
“The American people are raising their voices to a deafening roar today,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez tweeted the day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “We will not stop marching, we will not stop fighting, and we will vote on Election Day for leaders who share our values. #IWillVote.”
Democrats are pushing to regain control of both the House and the Senate, with a House takeover widely seen as the more likely scenario. Fox News' Power Rankings list 208 seats as "likely" or "lean" Democrat, just 10 seats away from claiming the majority.
The Washington Times reported that on Oct. 4, 60 House Democratic candidates had raised more than $1 million each for their campaigns over the last three months.
But according to the latest Fox News Poll, Republicans have made inroads in key Senate races amid the Kavanaugh drama. Fox News polling shows an overall surge in GOP voter enthusiasm. Compared with early September, the number of Republicans feeling “extremely” interested in the upcoming election is up by 2 points in Arizona, up by 9 points in Indiana, up 8 points in both Missouri and North Dakota, and up 11 points in Tennessee. In each state, Republicans are now just as likely as Democrats to say they are extremely interested -- erasing an edge Democrats had in several states last month.
Voter interest is directly linked to turnout, which Republican leaders feared would be so low as to offset some of the inherent advantages they have this year in the Senate. Only nine GOP-controlled seats there are up for grabs in 2018, compared with a whopping 26 for Democrats -- and some of those Democrat-controlled seats are in states that went by wide margins for Trump in 2016, including North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University, though, showed 49 percent of voters preferred that the Democrats take back Congress, compared with 42 percent for Republicans.
But McDaniel said the GOP base is “completely energized,” and the upcoming elections are about “results versus resistance.”
“Democrats are running on resist, obstruct. They’re not being shy about it. They want to bring more dysfunction,” McDaniel said on “Fox News Sunday” last weekend. “It is a very clear choice for voters. And I think the economy is the driving factor that will help us keep the majorities.”
Fox News' Gregg Re and Dana Blanton contributed to this report.