Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led with percentage of small dollar donors in 2018

Posted at 9:21 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 11:21:06-05

Small-dollar donors were key to the Democrats’ success in House races in 2018, and no one benefited more than Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the midterm cycle with her upset primary victory over Joe Crowley in New York.

A new report from Open Secrets, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, found that of House members and soon-to-be House members, Ocasio-Cortez had raised the highest percentage of her 2018 funds from small dollar donors (defined as individual contributions less than $200). Around 62% of the more than $2 million Ocasio-Cortez raised in the cycle came from these kinds of contributors.

Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia and an icon of the Civil Rights movement, was second on the list, raising 55% of his funds from small-dollar contributors. In third place, Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California and the outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, whose high-profile defense of the Trump administration amid the Russia investigation has endeared him to supporters of the President. Nunes — one of the top House Republican fundraisers of the cycle with $12.6 million — raised 49% of his funds from small-dollar donors.

Seven of the ten members on Open Secret’s list were Democrats, some of them in the most competitive 2018 races.

Rep. Conor Lamb, who won a high-profile special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district in March in addition to his November general election contest in the redistricted 17th district, raised 45% of his $9 million from small-dollar donors, placing fourth.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive Democrat from Hawaii who is reportedly weighing a 2020 White House bid, was in fifth place, raising 39% of her $1.4 million from small-dollar-donors.

Anthony Brindisi (New York’s 22nd district) received 35% of his $4.6 million from small-dollar donors, placing seventh, and Chris Pappas (New Hampshire’s 1st district) received 32% of his $2.2 million from those small-dollar contributors, placing eighth.

The other two Republicans on the list, both in high-profile positions, were Rep. Steve Scalise, the outgoing House majority whip, who raised 37% of his $13.2 million from small-dollar donors, in sixth place, and Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, in tenth place with 31% of his $1.8 million from small-dollar donors.

Also on the list: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised in the next Congress to return to the job of House speaker. Pelosi raised about 31% of her $4.5 million from small-dollar donors.