Amid Trump Fundraising Surge, Democrats Hyping Their Own ‘600 Percent Match’ To Woo Small Donors

Now liberal fundraisers are using the names of popular Democrats and celebrities to spur their grassroots donors to action.

The New York Sun
A screenshot of an ad from Democratic Majority.

Democrats desperate to match President Trump’s fundraising boon have torn a page out of his playbook, adopting one of his most notable strategies in trying to gin up small-dollar donations: the 100, 200, 300, and even 600 percent “match.”

According to multiple messages and fundraising pitches reviewed by the Sun, Democrat Party-aligned outside groups are using Trump’s preferred tactic of promising small-dollar donors a “match” of funds — meaning if a Democratic donor gives even $25 to one of these outside funding groups, some unnamed fund or wealthy donor would give as much as $150 in response to the contribution. 

The New York Times described the “match” tactic as a “gimmick” by Trump in 2021 as he was attempting to raise money for his legal defense fund. According to an analysis by the Minnesota-based nonprofit newsroom MinnPost, the Trump campaign was sending more than half a dozen emails and text messages a day with their “match” guarantee, all of which included signatures from Trump-aligned and GOP-aligned groups. 

In a 2020 opinion piece for the Progressive, a liberal magazine, writer Bill Lueders described the “match” tactic as a desperate plea for cash meant to dupe small-dollar donors. “These messages are invariably urgent —so urgent that I wonder if the President is worried, deep down inside, that he may not be reelected,” Mr. Lueders wrote at the time. “Friend, I really need you to pick up the pace,” one message from Trump said, according to Mr. Lueders. The same message promised a “600 percent” match from unnamed donors.

Trump’s campaign deployed the signatures of the former president’s own family members and supporters, hoping that donors would believe the messages were earnestly sent from those in Trump’s inner circle. 

Now liberal fundraising farmers are using the names of popular Democrats and liberal celebrities to spur their grassroots donors to action. “Obama to Dems STAY IN THIS FIGHT! 600% MATCH extended for you. Answer Obama’s call,” one text message on May 22 reads. Just days earlier, the group behind the message — called “Democratic Election Fund” — simply asked the recipient to “grade Biden’s first term.”

Only after that “match” guarantee from May 22, the Dem Election Fund stuck with the bit. “PLEASE! Trump is ahead while donations to stop him PLUMMET! 600% MATCH for Dems,” a May 26 message from the group stated. 

“Are. You. KIDDING?? A *700%* match to DEFEAT Trump?? You’ve GOT to see this!!” another message, sent three days later, said. “We can CRUSH him if we act FAST,” the follow-up to the 700 percent match said, sent to recipients less than five hours after the first text. 

According to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by the Sun, the Democratic Election Fund raised more than $614,000 between the beginning of 2023 and the end of March 2024. The fundraising numbers for April, May, and June — the period when the Democratic Election Fund began using their “match” guarantee gimmick — will be released at the end of the second quarter of 2024. 

On Tuesday, another group named simply “Democratic Majority” sent a message highlighting liberal celebrities who are supporting President Biden. “Mark Cuban + Stephen King + Barack Obama. All 3 are ready to DEMOLISH Trump! 600% MATCH!” the group said in a text message. Democratic Majority has raised more than $3.7 million since 2021, and has spent a little more than $3 million 

A group called “Democratic Power” sent a text message on Monday also highlighting George Clooney’s support for the president. “MEGA star George Clooney just urged Dems to stand up & FIGHT Trump! YES!! 600% MATCH” the group said. 

According to the FEC, Democratic Power was first created in October 2022 and has raised nearly $1.4 million since. The committee has only spent $877,000 since the beginning of 2023. 

All three of the fundraising groups included links in all of their text messages to donation pages that included photos of popular Democrats and liberal celebrities, as well as quotes denigrating Trump. The “match” guarantee was also displayed prominently at the top of the web pages. 

One apparently now-defunct outside spending group, Dem Victory — the website of which is now shut down — urged donors to support one of liberal America’s favorite late-night talk show hosts. “Stephen Colbert STUNNED his audience with this simple election warning! 600% MATCH OPEN” the text message said. 

Just in recent weeks, Trump’s fundraising has spiked, given the headlines about Democrats raising $25 million in one night for the Biden–Harris campaign and Trump’s conviction at New York in the hush money case.

Just days after Mr. Biden raised that $25 million at a Radio City Music Hall fundraiser, Trump’s campaign announced they had raised $50 million at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser. After Trump’s conviction, his campaign and Republican-aligned groups broke records for one-day fundraising.

In the 24 hours following the verdict, Trump’s campaign said they raised nearly $35 million from small-dollar donors — their best fundraising day on the platform WinRed, which reportedly crashed in the wake of the surge in donations. 

The New York Sun

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