It’s an exciting time to be a GOP operative as a crowded field of presidential wannabes zig zag across the country to campaign and raise funds. While Republicans focus on picking their nominee in 2024, Democratic candidates up and down the ballot can use the GOP nomination fight to expand their fundraising prowess.
Here are three prime ways Democratic candidates can raise money off the Republican nomination fight:
Target donors using GOP policies
At no point in recent history have the two major parties ever been more divided regarding the issues activists care most about. This split provides a prime opening for Democratic candidates to sound the alarm about how a Republican presidency would erode progressive policies many donors find so important.
Donald Trump has bragged about the role he played in overturning Roe v. Wade. Every time he does this, it gives Democratic candidates a chance to remind donors that they’ll be a champion for choice no matter the party in the White House – it also reminds them why Trump cannot win in 2024.
Every time a GOP presidential candidate proposes a policy that will excite their base, Democratic candidates nationwide should get ready to use the policy to fire up progressives through email, social media, and direct solicitations. Appealing to donors’ policy interests can be a very successful tactic that also demonstrates what a candidate cares about.
Piggyback off local appearances
Republican candidates will be hitting the campaign trail for votes and money. If they show up in your campaign’s backyard, it gives you a prime opportunity to rally the base. These visits also allows for more creative responses to do more that just a send a fundraising email or ask for donations on social media.
This can give a campaign a chance to get in front of the local media outlets, draw a sharp contrast with the visiting Republican candidate, and all of that can be used in fundraising solicitations moving forward.
You can also choose to get more creative. Some examples of that could include creating their own event in contrast to the high dollar fundraiser the Republican candidate is most likely in town for, create a protest that can give the Republican headaches, but excite your supporters, or find your chance to get in front of local media.
Connect the dots from your opponent to the GOP field
All of the ideas above will require a certain level of research and diligence to know how the race is shaping up. But this one requires a little higher level of research: Campaigns should vet their Republican opponent’s donors against the FEC filings of the major presidential candidates.
If you can make that connection and demonstrate that your opponent is being supported by the same folks that are backing Trump, DeSantis, Haley, Christie, or Scott you can make an argument that your opponent shares their views and supports their out of touch policies.
The same must be done for your opponent. If your GOP opponent is working with one of the campaigns, has endorsed a candidate, or is serving a surrogate for their preferred candidate it opens a new level of opportunity that you can utilize for fundraising. The more vocal they are in support, the better. You need to setup a system to monitor what they’re saying and a plan to rapidly respond with an ask for money.
The GOP race for the presidency will provide lots of excitement for Republicans nationwide. All the while, it gives Democratic candidates an opportunity to raise money off the Republican nomination battle.
Nick Daggers is a co-founding partner of the 1833 Group, a Chicago-based Democratic political consulting firm focusing on fundraising. He has worked as a campaign fundraiser since 2008 and has worked on dozens of races from coast-to-coast since then.