by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
On Fox News Thursday night, Rep. Elise Stefanik made sure to tell viewers about a website where they could “step up” and donate to her campaign. After her appearance, the New York Republican announced she raised a staggering $500,000 in less than two hours.
Stefanik’s fundraising push is an early test of whether House Republicans, using a new online fundraising platform Stefanik once questioned, can capitalize on national attention to bring in campaign cash.
Two months ago, Stefanik raised concerns about the platform, called WinRed. Republicans recently developed WinRed to counter ActBlue, a platform through which small dollar donors sent millions to Democratic congressional candidates in 2018. The so-called green wave overwhelmed Republicans and helped Democrats flip the House.
But now Stefanik is using the platform to take advantage of newfound attention. She is one of the breakout members of the House Intelligence Committee, which began public hearings in its impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump last week. …
… Stefanik’s rapid ascent to national prominence has provided the most high-profile test yet of how Republicans can use WinRed to help themselves and other candidates.
“Help Elise Stefanik,” read a subject line from a fundraising email for Genevieve Collins, a GOP candidate in Texas’ 32nd District who Stefanik has endorsed through her leadership PAC. The email directs donors to a webpage where they can donate to Stefanik and Collins. Other candidates, including Stephanie Bice in Oklahoma’s 5th District, Lynn Homrich in Georgia’s 7th District, Minnesota Rep and Pete Stauber have sent similar emails.