WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) announced that it raised $12.8 million in 2020 by the end of the second quarter, shattering previous fundraising records and raising nearly as much in the first half of 2020 as it did in all of 2019. In the second quarter, DAGA raised $4.3 million, nearly double what it raised in the same quarter last year. This comes after DAGA reported the best first-quarter fundraising in committee history. Grassroots supporters continue to play an important role in the committee’s growth with over 25,000 individual donors in Q2, which is 5,000 more individual donors than in Q1 and another record.
“Our Democratic Attorneys General have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment in fighting for justice, fairness, and equality under the law during the Trump administration – none have played a larger role in protecting our freedoms over the last four years,” said Sean Rankin, Executive Director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “As DAGA has increased our capacity to elevate our AGs and become a trusted, reliable strategic partner to progressive organizations, our fundraising numbers have grown. Donors who support Democratic AGs and our candidates are recognizing more with each year the pivotal role that this office plays in making sure there is a level playing field for all.”
“As Dem AGs work to protect people during the COVID pandemic and push back against reckless and dangerous policies from the right, it’s never been more important to elect Democratic AGs that will expand the fight to protect access to affordable health care, promote equality, and serve as independent watchdogs for the people,” added Rankin. “Electing Democratic AGs matters, and thankfully, we have strong Democratic candidates who will have the resources needed to compete, even in the most difficult of races.”
DAGA’s strong fundraising is being mirrored across the country by both incumbent Democratic AGs running for re-election and Democratic AG candidates seeking to flip seats blue in red and purple states. Here’s a snapshot at the battleground states:
- North Carolina AG Josh Stein reported having more than $5.75 Million cash-on-hand, raising more than $2 Million in the first half of 2020. Both figures are the most a non-gubernatorial candidate has reported in North Carolina history. AG Stein has strong grassroots support with over 17,000 donors and support from all 100 North Carolina counties. He continues to drastically outraise his GOP challenger Jim O’Neill. O’Neill had less than 170 people contribute to his campaign and reported just $116,000 cash-on-hand.
- Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro reported more than $4.1 Million cash-on-hand, compared to just over $200,000 for his Republican opponent.
- Montana Democratic AG nominee Raph Graybill reported raising twice as much as his former State Rep. Austin Knudsen. This marks the sixth reporting period he has outraised his Republican opponent.
- Indiana Democratic AG nominee Jonathan Weinzapfel reported more than $700,000 cash-on-hand with nearly $1 Million raised since December. In Q1 he outraised the entire Republican field combined, and begins the general election with a 40 to 1 cash-on-hand advantage over his Republican opponent.
- Utah Democratic AG nominee Greg Skordas reported over $125,000 cash-on-hand, more than four times as much as incumbent Republican AG Sean Reyes.
The consistent fundraising success shows Democrats are preparing a strong defense for incumbents and are fired up to flip seats blue this November. Just last month, Cook Political Report moved key state AG races towards Democrats in Indiana and Montana, both considered a “Toss Up.”
DAGA’s counterpart, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is on their heels after a series of bizarre moves this cycle. This year, RAGA spent more than $80,000 propping up embattled incumbent Indiana AG Curtis Hill who lost the GOP nomination to another failed statewide candidate Todd Rokita. Additionally, RAGA opted to buy airtime in South Dakota ahead of Trump’s now infamous Fourth of July speech. There is not only no AG race in South Dakota this year, the ad content showcases an extremism that polling shows is at odds with a majority of Americans, including in battleground states. Furthermore, RAGA has raised eyebrows for failing to disclose any fundraising numbers in 2020.
DAGA and candidates across the country are already engaging with voters through the committee’s first-of-its-kind SMS voter education program and investing early in key states. This cycle, DAGA has already reached more than 1.4 million voters across battleground states like Pennsylvania and Indiana. And these programs are proving to be successful. In the June Pennsylvania primary, Democratic voters returned more than twice as many vote-by-mail ballots as Republican voters. In 2018, DAGA reached more than 12 million voters through its SMS programs, a tactic that helped Democrats keep all 12 Democratic seats and flip four battleground states blue: Colorado, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin.
“Even more prominent than in 2018, health care is on the ballot this November,” said Farah Melendez, DAGA Political Director. “And for voters, there is no clearer distinction between the parties than in the state AG race. Republican AGs are at the Supreme Court trying to take affordable health care away from millions and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Democratic AGs are fighting back and defending access to affordable health care. That is what is at stake this November.”
The Democratic momentum heading into the second half of the cycle reflects trends that emerged following Trump’s election in 2016: voters prefer Democrats at the state AG level in battleground states. Additionally, voters overwhelmingly identify access to affordable health care as a top voting issue in these battleground states, voters trust Democrats over Republicans on the issue, and voters disapprove of the Republican AG ACA repeal lawsuit effort.
For more on the role health care will play in these battleground states, check out this memo linked here.