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Saturday, January 22, 2022

House GOP May Hit Vulnerable Democrats For Receiving AOC Donations

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The House GOP’s campaign arm on Monday signaled plans to go after swing-seat House Democrats whose campaigns received unsolicited money from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), an increasingly common boogeyman for Republicans.

Key Facts

Ocasio-Cortez, who is often flush with cash and enjoys a safely Democratic New York City district, wired $5,000 donations to a number of her more vulnerable colleagues ahead of what will likely be a difficult campaign season, according to Politico.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ campaign arm, reportedly gave Ocasio-Cortez those campaigns’ banking information without their knowledge, and at least three tried to return them out of fear of being tied to Ocasio-Cortez even as others took them.

The National Republican Campaign Committee on Monday said in a press release those Democrats are “rightly” concerned they will “use the donations in attack ads,” calling the donations “an unwelcome surprise” for those campaigns.

“Sean Patrick Maloney’s DCCC is doing everything it can to make life miserable for vulnerable House Democrats,” Mike Berg, the NRCC’s deputy communications director, said in a statement.

Forbes has reached out to the DCCC for comment.

Key Background

Republicans have often targeted Democrats in swing districts by tying them to safe Democrats seen as divisive with the broader electorate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has long been that figure, but Ocasio-Cortez has become ubiquitous in House campaigns since her ascension to the House in 2019.

Big Number

44%. That’s the share of respondents in a Business Insider poll in September 2020 who said they had seen an ad featuring Ocasio-Cortez. According to that poll, ads featuring Ocasio-Cortez had a sorting effect: making conservative voters less likely to vote for Democrats and liberals more likely.

Crucial Quote

“The DCCC is using a socialist’s money to get moderate Democrats re-elected and the moderates aren’t happy,” conservative commentator Erick Erickson said in a tweet that was retweeted by the NRCC, teasing the thrust of the ads they will run.


Some commentators have argued that Republicans would tie vulnerable Democrats to Ocasio-Cortez with or without the donations. “Advanced Democrat Brain: Thinking that returning a donation from AOC will prevent $5 million of ‘socialist/radical’ ads getting dumped on your head anyway,” tweeted Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel.

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