Gardner Blues Continue As NRSC Fundraising Stalls

Sen. Cory Gardner, not smiling.

A story in the Phil Anschutz-owned Washington Examiner today, widely considered a bellwether conservative mouthpiece, makes no attempt to contain the growing frustration from high-ranking Republican donors over the failure by the GOP-dominated federal government to accomplish any of their agenda items since President Donald Trump took office:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is holding off a revolt by his loyal campaign contributors for now, even as other donors angry about Republican failures in Congress reject pleas for cash to support the party’s 2018 campaign.

McConnell, attempting to rebound from stinging defeats on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, has generally maintained buy-in from his “roster of several hundred committed donors” cultivated since the 2010 election cycle, especially high rollers that write seven-figure checks to the Kentuckian’s super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund…

“It seems like McConnell’s star is fading and Bannon’s is rising,” said Eberhart, who runs an investment firm. This disenchantment has impacted the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Senate campaign committee run by Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado but overseen by McConnell.

The NRSC, which unlike McConnell’s super PAC and affiliated political nonprofit, One Nation, has donations capped by federal limits, raised a scant $4 million in July and August, less than the $4.8 million the organization collected in June, as the Senate GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare ground to a halt. [Pols emphasis]

Donations to Mitch McConnell’s SuperPAC aren’t subject to the same limits as donations to Sen. Cory Gardner’s National Republican Senatorial Committee, so it’s logical that money would continue to flow to the Senate Leadership Fund. The significant falloff in support for the NRSC can be explained by a number of factors, not least being that organization’s responsibility to support Republican incumbents–even in the face of primary challengers who could leave the “official” campaign organ of Senate Republicans on the wrong side of GOP primary voters.

Which is exactly what happened in Alabama as NRSC-supported Sen. Luther Strange fell to Stephen Bannon-supported Roy Moore. The possibility of “throwing good money after bad” in other upcoming GOP primaries is a very good reason to exercise caution before writing checks to the NRSC.

Needless to say, that’s very bad for Gardner, whose nominally powerful position as the Senate GOP’s campaign chief is rapidly being undermined by Bannon’s insurgency. The one-two punch of losing primaries, followed by having to back fringe nominees, puts Gardner in a horrible position going into an election where Democrats are increasingly hopeful about their still-long shot chances of retaking the U.S. Senate majority.

But like Gardner should have learned when the “Tea Party” propelled him to Congress in 2010, you dance with the one who brought you.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    They're going to need that $4 million raised (and a lot more) to drag Roy Moore fat ass across the finish line in December.

  2. ParkHill says:

    The Drunkard or the Tight-rope Walker

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Conservative leaders call on McConnell to resign over legislative gridlock

    “2017 has been a disappointing year for the millions of Americans who fully expected, and had every right to expect real change in Washington. Republicans were given full control of the federal government. They — you — have done nothing,” they wrote in a letter dated Wednesday to McConnell and his leadership team.

    I assume he's talking about the millions of Americans who signify the minority of the voting population in the last cycle?

  4. Moderatus says:

    Democrats will not retake the Senate. This is a pipe dream, literally for Colorado Pols.

    • unnamed says:

      Yeah nutlid.  I'm skeptical if that happening next year.  

      But, man!!  Fundraising drying up, a coordinated effort by Bannon to out-asshole McConnell and complete ineptitude with an unpopular agenda.  You got the whole Government and keep getting hoisted on your own petard.  Fun to watch.  For the rest of us.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Like Caesar's Gaul, the US Senate will be divided in three parts:

      1.  Coalition of Dems plus Bernie and King (48 seats)

      2.  The Bannon Nut Case Caucus (Ted Cruz, Roy Moore, Rand Paul, and a dozen others)

      3.   The Establishment Republicans (McConnell, Cornyn, Gardner, and 34 others)

      The Establishment Republicans will swing back and forth between voting with the Nut Cases on some stuff and with the Dems on others

  5. mamajama55 says:

    I need a tiny whiny violin to play for Cory Gardner.

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    Didn't nutlid's bff Cernovich promise to let the other shoe drop if Bannon was fired?  Did I miss something? Keeping his gunpowder dry for the primaries? 


  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    When one recalls the fact that Corwardly Lyin’ has never in his entire career been good at much of anything (apart from smiling, nodding, and floating about haplessly on the prevailing breeze), it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he would fail utterly and miserably at any undertaking requiring some expenditure of effort?!?

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