Republicans raise big amounts amid coronavirus crisis

According to the Republican fundraising platform WinRed, donors contributed just under $130 million in the first quarter of 2020, despite the spread of coronavirus throughout the United States. 

That’s 30% more than was raised in the previous two quarters through WinRed combined. 

In the fourth quarter of 2019, donors contributed $70 million to Republican campaigns. This was more than double the amount raised in the third quarter — the first full fundraising quarter for the platform — when WinRed pulled in $31 million.

According to a WinRed spokesperson, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t reduce the amount of donations. 

“We expected to see a decrease but there hasn’t been a significant dip,” the spokesperson told Yahoo Finance. “We think that’s another indication of strong Republican energy behind the president.”

These strong fundraising numbers coincide with rising popularity for the president, who has started to see a surge in approval ratings. For the first time since he first took office, Trump’s approval ratings are up over 45%.

A total of 1 million donors contributed on average 3.2 times. Despite Republicans typically relying on large-dollar donations, donors to WinRed contributed small sums, just under $40.

Nearly $30 million of the $130 million raised was from recurring donations, meaning $100 million of the amount contributed in the first quarter were from new donors – this despite a pandemic that has put millions out of work, tanked markets and hit the global economy. 

Despite the strong fundraising numbers, they pale in comparison to the amount Democrats have raised on the ActBlue platform. 

In 2019, small-dollar donors contributed $1 billion to the platform, a record for ActBlue. And while Republicans raised $70 million in the Q4 2019, Democrats contributed a staggering $343 million.

It’s still unknown how much Trump raised during Q1. The Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests by Yahoo Finance by time of publication.

But if the past is any indication, it’s likely the president’s fundraising totals will match or even surpass that of Democrats.

In the third quarter of 2019, Trump and the Republican National Committee posted record-breaking fundraising totals, with $125 million raised for the quarter.

According to FEC data, the president has raised over $164 million so far, with nearly $95 million cash on hand. The Democratic frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden only has $12 million, and has raised just under $90 million. 

Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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