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ActBlue processed more than half a billion dollars in three-month period

Political fundraising and spending trends across the U.S.
A look at political fundraising and spending trends across the U.S. 08:11

About $513 million was raised through ActBlue, the Democratic Party's online fundraising platform for small dollar donors, between April 1 and June 30, according to numbers first shared with CBS News. 

The platform brought in $20.6 million on the day the Supreme Court released its ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the question of whether abortion would remain legal back to states.

Overall, in the six days immediately following the June 24 decision, Democratic candidates, committees and progressive organizations brought in $89 million through ActBlue. 

"The overturning of Roe v. Wade and the push in Republican-led states to restrict or eliminate abortion access and attack civil rights have rapidly mobilized small-dollar donors," said Erin Hill, the outgoing Executive Director of ActBlue. Hill is expected to depart from the organization at the end of the year. 

"Donors are rallying around these issues – from preserving LGBTQIA2S+ rights to voting rights and more – they're getting engaged at the local level and focusing on competitive races ahead of November," she added.

Supreme Court Abortion
Abortion-rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. Jose Luis Magana / AP

While the party faces headwinds this midterm cycle due to voter frustrations with the economy and inflation, as well as President Biden's low approval rating, ActBlue's numbers signal there has been strong energy surrounding two animating issues for their base: abortion rights and gun control. 

The platform says that eight out of the 10 largest days for first-time donors occurred in the days after the Supreme Court's Dobbs draft opinion leaked, the Uvalde, Texas, shooting and after the Dobbs decision. 

The huge sum is more than double the amount raised in the second quarter of the 2018 midterm cycle. The number of individual donors also doubled from that cycle: 2.79 million in 2022 versus 1.4 million in 2018. The average contribution this quarter was $43.31.

Cycle to date, more than $2.1 billion has been raised for Democratic candidates and organizations through ActBlue. By comparison, nearly $2.3 billion has been raised at this point in the 2020 cycle, a presidential election year. 

By comparison, WinRed, ActBlue's main Republican online fundraising counterpart, processed $155.8 million in the second quarter of 2022. While ActBlue was first launched in 2004, WinRed was founded in 2019 but already has processed donations for more than 5,000 campaigns in its first three years, compared to ActBlue's more than 16,000 in the second quarter of 2022 alone.

ActBlue's numbers match up with a pattern of high fundraising numbers fby Democratic candidates and incumbents with tough races in November. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia raised $17.2 million in the second quarter, Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona raised $13.6 million, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman of Pennsylvania raised $11 million and Rep. Val Demings of Florida raised $12.2 million for her run for the Senate. 

"But the platform says there's also been a spike in non-federal and local donations from the beginning of this cycle through June. About 55% of the first time donors in that period gave to a non-federal campaign, committee or organization." Donors gave twice as much money for attorney general candidates this quarter compared to 2018, and three times as much for gubernatorial races. And the Democratic campaign arm focused on state legislative races also broke its second quarter cash haul record this year, with its best 48 hours of fundraising this cycle taking place after the Roe decision. 

Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report. 

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