With the midterm elections just six days away – and control of the Senate up for grabs and several governors in very tight races -- Democrats and Republicans are making 11th-hour pleas for more cash in hopes that it could tip the balance in their favor.
This election cycle has seen an avalanche of fundraising pleas from candidates, campaign groups, party leaders, outside groups and former politicians (including Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney).
Emails pitches with subjects like “what’s at stake (terrifying)” and “DOOMED” are flooding potential voters’ inboxes. Below are some of the more outlandish appeals this election cycle.
We want to hear from you! For the next piece in our series, we’ll be looking at the biggest gaffes of the election cycle. What has jumped out at you? Leave a comment on this post to submit your suggestions!
Charlie Crist: Capitalizing on 'Fangate'
The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democratic gubernatorial candidate tried to take advantage of one of the most bizarre debate moments of the election cycle – when his opponent, incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, refused for about five minutes to take the stage because of a small fan placed at Crist’s podium.
Shortly after the debate earlier this month, the Crist campaign sent out several emails asking for cash, telling potential donors if they donate $5 or more, they’ll receive a paper fan saying “I’m a fan of Charlie Crist.” In another email titled “pretty ridiculous,” Crist said, “Trust me – I didn’t want to argue about a fan on the podium” and asked supporters to chip in $1 or more.
Thad Cochran: 'Fighting ISIS'
Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who has a comfortable lead against his Democratic opponent, Travis Childers, has capitalized on the rise of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In a fundraising email back in September called “Fighting ISIS,” the campaign said, “In a dangerous world, we need Thad Cochran in the Senate now more than ever.”
Cochran has not gone as far as some other GOP candidates on ISIS. Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, suggested earlier this month at a tele-town hall meeting that ISIS extremists are collaborating with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate America’s southern border.
The National Republican Congressional Committee also has an ad suggesting that terrorists are coming through the Mexican border.
U.S. officials and counterterrorism experts have repeatedly said there is no evidence that ISIS is attempting to infiltrate the U.S. through the nation’s southern border.
Paul Broun: Ebola scare tactics
Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun may have lost the GOP primary for retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat. But that didn't stop him from sending out a fundraising letter via the Conservative Action Fund (CAF) ginning up fear about the Ebola crisis.
An email from earlier this month, titled “Stop Ebola From Reaching You,” asked supporters to give $5 or $10 to CAF, which supports conservative candidates. “Ebola travels fast—this petition has to travel faster,” it said.
Several other GOP candidates have been fear-mongering about Ebola on the campaign trail this election cycle, too.
Republican National Committee: Questioning loyalty
The Republican National Committee has sent fundraising emails to supporters ahead of the midterm elections asking, “Did you abandon the Republican Party”?
It asked potential donors to renew their membership, saying, “Right now you are handing the advantage to the Democrats. That’s exactly what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to do. With Republicans like you sitting out in 2014, the Democrats are able to continue their liberal rampage …”
Conservative groups and writers said the email was offensive and could hurt the party in the long term. The RNC defended the fundraising pleas, insisting the message was common among the Democratic Party as well.
Sen. Kirk: The Michelle Obama fear factor
It’s never too early to begin thinking about 2016. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk sent out a fundraising letter in September referring to rumors that first lady Michelle Obama may run for his Senate seat in 2016.
Kirk said that while he is not one to believe political gossip, he takes “all potential threats seriously.” He asked for $25 to $1,000 to help him “fend off a challenge from a Democratic opponent who will be backed by the national Democrat party as well as the home state political operation of the president.”