Stacey Abrams’ blockbuster fundraiser driven by out-of-state money

Data: Georgia Campaign Finance Commission.  Graphic: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals
Data: Georgia Campaign Finance Commission. Graphic: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

In one of the nation’s most publicized gubernatorial battles, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams is tapping into a vast pool of out-of-state money.

Why is this important: Abrams’ fundraising profile — which consists of huge support from wealthy coastal Democrats and a massive support base of small dollars — is more typical of a top national candidate than a gubernatorial candidate. .

Driving the news: Abrams’ campaign and leadership committee said it received about $7 million from Georgia donors, just over 14% of the nearly $50 million they combined to raise this round.

  • Incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s campaign and leadership committee has brought in more than $27 million from donors in the state, nearly 84% of their total of nearly $33 million since Kemp began collecting. funds in 2019.
  • A substantial part of Abrams’ raise in the state — a $1.5 million donation to her executive committee — came from Fair Fight, a ballot policy group founded by Abrams herself.

Zoom out: If the trend continues, Abrams would be the only Georgia gubernatorial candidate from either party since at least the 1990s to receive the majority of campaign funds from out of state, according to an Axios analysis of campaign finance records.

Yes, but: Abrams has reported over 30,000 contributions from Georgians this year alone.

  • That’s more than double the number of in-state donations to Kemp over the same period, though the governor’s campaign was barred from fundraising for three months this year as the Georgia legislature was in session. His committee could, however.
  • Abrams also enters the critical final leg of the campaign with more than double Kemp’s cash in hand.

To note : State law only requires disclosure of contributor information for donations over $100.

  • Abrams has raised nearly $6.7 million through small-dollar “one-off” donations — compared to about $567,000 for Kemp — meaning his haul in the state is likely higher than his detailed totals show. ‘indicate.
  • Even if every penny of that unified total came from Georgia, however, his transportation in the state would represent just over a quarter of his total fundraising.

The big picture: Abrams’ stardom, which has skyrocketed since his run in 2018, has given him access to a new realm of donors, including names like Leonardo DiCaprio and Melinda Gates. A group of entertainment industry luminaries tenuous a fundraiser in Los Angeles for Abrams in June.

  • She said she received more money this round from California than from any other state.
  • Out-of-state donations have grown with her national profile: During Abrams’ 2018 run, she got about a third of her campaign money from Georgia, by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution magazine.

Abraham also fully benefited from the new steering committee structure, which allows unlimited contributions to an entity that can coordinate directly with the campaigns.

  • Major donors to its steering committee, One Georgia, include California philanthropist Karla Jurvetson and a PAC funded by financier George Soros. Each contributed $2.5 million.

What they say : Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Abrams campaign, said they were “proud to have more Georgian donors than any other candidate in this race.”

  • “Even after Brian Kemp and his right-wing allies rigged our campaign finance laws to give themselves unlimited money, our grassroots supporters fueled our campaign from every corner of the state.”
  • Floyd was referring to the leadership committee structure Georgia Republicans created last year, allowing certain officials and candidates to fundraise without limits.

The plot: Republicans see support from out of state as one of Abrams’ main liabilities.

  • Kemp’s campaign attempted to Paint her as someone who has been busy “wooing liberal billionaires in New York and California” since their 2018 run.
  • “Georgia will never be on Stacey’s mind,” Kemp said said during his May primary victory party. “His radical ideas are meant to appeal to the people of New York, California and Chicago who fund his campaign.”

Between the lines: Abrams’ team has preemptively quashed speculation of a 2024 presidential election if it wins this year.

  • If she doesn’t — or changes her mind — her massive fundraising base could rival almost any Democrat in the country.

Reporting was provided by Axios’ Nicki Camberg.

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