A year after GOP donors funneled millions into the November elections without success; they are now even more exasperated with Washington D.C., especially after the devastating 16-day government shutdown.
Frustrated with the lack progress in Congress, write Maggie Haberman and Anna Palmer in Politico, many Republican donors are holding back, a troubling sign for the 2014 midterm elections.
Other donors are taking action.
New York City-based GOP donor Paul Singer recently held informal—and some formal—conversations with other mega-donors about how to be more effective in 2014. Singer also suggested forming a new entity for a more significant role in the midterms. The focus will be boosting the quality of Republican candidates to shun candidates (like Todd Akin) who lose what should be easily winnable races.
For these donors, the problem was not so much the shutdown, but the legislative issues from earlier in the year, things such as immigration reform. The conservative struggles over immigration, coupled with the budget impasse and shutdown, have left many high-stakes donors worried for the future of the party.
Politico notes one New York City meeting last month, a group of about 30 donors floated the idea of a new entity – not quite a super PAC — that can have a greater impact on midterm races. They are hoping to avoid a repeat of the demoralizing 2012 elections, when New York-area donors were hit especially hard.
A few Republican fundraisers, including RNC chair Reince Priebus, cautioned about reading too deeply the current mood. They say that most donors are not engaged fully at this point, be it a midterm or a presidential cycle.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, a major fundraiser for the RNC, during a party event he hosted a few weeks ago, echoed that the GOP is actually moving in the right direction.
“Under Reince’s leadership the RNC and party have experienced enormous growth and renewal,” Johnson said in an email.
Johnson added that the donor community understands “the need to build our infrastructure and technology and are enthusiastic about the progress Reince is making on all of these fronts.”