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Even Herschel Walker’s team doesn’t like the GOP fundraising tactics

Republican fundraising tactics in Georgia's Senate runoff are so excessive that even Herschel Walker's team is complaining — about the size of its cut.


Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election is just 20 days away, and Republican officials are eagerly expressing their support for Herschel Walker. Many have endorsed him, others have made television appearances with him, and some have even made trips to Georgia to campaign alongside the troubled candidate.

Given how important and high-profile the race is, GOP officials have also used the Georgia contest as an opportunity for fundraising — and as NBC News reported, that’s proved to be far more controversial than necessary.

Republican politicians and associated committees are sending out desperate fundraising emails begging the GOP faithful to help save America by getting behind Herschel Walker in his Dec. 6 runoff against the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Raphael Warnock. But what wasn’t immediately clear to recipients was how little of that money from small donors was going to Walker’s campaign: just a dime for every dollar.

Donald Trump’s Save America operation, for example, sent out a fundraising appeal last week that referenced the Georgia race, and many recipients likely saw it as an opportunity to support Walker’s candidacy. Under the default settings for donations, however, the former president’s political operation would keep 90% of the money. (The ratio was later changed to 50:50.)

The North Carolina GOP, North Carolina Sen.-elect Ted Budd and Ohio Sen.-elect J.D. Vance have each made related pitches to their supporters, embracing the same 90:10 ratio before some of them also switched to 50:50.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s fundraising appeal was even more dramatic: It sent a pitch to prospective donors with fine print that showed the NRSC would keep 99% of what’s raised. In other words, for every $10 a Republican donor sent, Walker would get just 10 cents.

The margins were so lopsided that Steven Law, who leads the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with the Senate Republican leaders, complained yesterday, “Good committees raise enough so that they don’t have to steal from their candidates.”

My MSNBC colleague Ja’han Jones wrote, “So, just to clarify things here: Republicans have been using Walker’s campaign — effectively, his labor — to raise money for themselves. And then they give him a meager cut of what they’ve raised. Think of it like political sharecropping.”

Naturally, this has not gone unnoticed in Georgia. NBC News’ report added that Walker’s campaign, which has trailed Warnock in fundraising, was “asking fellow Republicans to stop their fundraising practices — or at least to start sharing more with the candidate.”

In other words, Walker’s team either wants a change in strategy or a bigger cut.