“The Democrats thrive on silencing and intimidating his supporters, like YOU, Friend. They want to take YOUR VOTE away,” read an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon. “President Trump wants to know who stood with him when it mattered most.”
Such appeals — often capitalizing on newsworthy moments for the president — have been a mainstay of Trump’s fundraising strategy and have fueled his reelection effort.
With the help of small-dollar donors angered by the sense that the president is being treated unfairly, Trump's reelection effort has amassed a record-breaking war chest, turning political attacks against the president into peak fundraising moments.
Trump’s ability to tap into his online donors has reshaped the donor base for the Republican Party, which has historically leaned on wealthy donors, and raised the stakes for Democratic presidential candidates to show they can cultivate their own small-dollar base to compete with Trump’s.
GOP officials have said the committees raising money for Trump’s reelection have drawn more money from digital fundraising appeals in the second quarter of 2019 than they did over the entire first half of 2018 — highlighting his ability to draw and sustain support from donors giving less than $200.
The appeals on Tuesday called on his supporters to join an “Official Impeachment Defense Task Force” made up of “only President Trump’s most LOYAL supporters,” with suggested donations ranging from $5 to the maximum $2,800, or $45 to show support for the 45th president.
“Nancy just called for Impeachment. WITCH HUNT! I need you on my Impeachment Defense Team,” read a text message sent to supporters shortly after Pelosi’s announcement. The message was “signed” by Trump.
The impeachment-themed donations were directed to multiple committees: his reelection campaign committee, a committee raising money for his reelection and the Republican National Committee, and a fund aimed at unseating a freshman Democrat elected to the seat in 2018 in a district that had voted for Trump in 2016.
Party officials tweeted on Tuesday that the fund set up to help the eventual nominee for the seat in Michigan had raised more than $100,000 in the first hour.
Trump and the RNC have consistently drawn a steady steam of online donations from low-dollar contributors.
Last month, when the GOP broke fundraising records for the August of a non-election year, 62 percent of the RNC’s individual contributions came from those giving less than $200.
In comparison, such donations comprised 47 percent of individual contributions to the Democratic National Committee in August, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed Friday.
“The misguided Democrat impeachment strategy is meant to appease their rabid, extreme, leftist base, but will only serve to embolden and energize President Trump’s supporters and create a landslide victory for the President,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
In turn, Democratic presidential candidates — including former vice president Joe Biden, former congressman Beto O’Rourke (Tex.), former housing secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) — also sent impeachment-themed solicitations Tuesday to their supporters.
“Folks, Trump is afraid of facing Joe next fall, and he keeps lashing out,” read a Biden campaign text to supporters Tuesday. “Use this link to chip in now to defend Joe Biden,” it continued, carrying a link to his campaign donation page.