Liberal activists poured $2 million into progressive political groups immediately following House passage of the Republican bill to partially repeal Obamacare.
Daily Kos, ActBlue and Swing Left announced Friday online contributions from 45,000 small donors that will be used to back Democrats in the 2018 midterms. In the 2010 cycle, Republicans experienced similar activism in response to the passage of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.
"Americans are horrified that congressional Republicans just voted to take away their health care, and that's rekindled real anger — anger the Daily Kos community is channeling with record-breaking donations at unheard-of speed," the group's political director, David Nir, said in a statement.
Republicans haven't repealed the Affordable Care Act yet. Their bill, the American Health Care Act, is now in the hands of the Senate. Republicans in that chamber are planning to write their own bill, and might never even put the House bill on the floor. But progressives, energized by opposition to President Trump and his drive to repeal Obamacare, are already mobilizing.
Democrats are hoping voter dissatisfaction with the GOP health care law can lead them back to the House majority next year, much as unhappiness with Obama's health care law helped put the Republicans back in power in 2010. The Democrats need to win 24 seats, net, to take back the majority; their targets include 23 Republicans sitting in districts that Hillary Clinton won in November, plus others where Trump won with less than 50 percent.
Daily Kos, a premier website for liberal activism, said it raised $800,000 from 17,200 donations in less than 24 hours following Thursday's health care vote in the House. Swing Left, a recently-formed progressive group that aims to channel liberal activism into 2018 House races to elect Democrats , said it raised more than $800,000 from nearly 20,000 donors.
ActBlue, a one-stop website that allows donors to channel money to the candidate and group of their choice, said money was given through its portal to over 1,200 separate campaigns, organizations and funds.
Meanwhile, Republicans who voted for the AHCA are getting air cover from American Action Network, the political nonprofit aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. On Friday, AAN announced that it was investing $2 million in television advertising in 21 districts to support House Republicans who voted for the bill. Here's the script of the spot:
It's a bold plan to cut the deficit and provide one trillion dollars of job-creating tax relief.
It puts patients and doctors back in charge of health care.
Eliminating Washington's expensive mandates.
Empowering states to reduce health care costs, and
Protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
The Republican health plan provides families with more choices, better coverage, and lower premiums.
Thank [member] for keeping [his] word and fighting for the health care we deserve.