The vast majority of Georgia Democratic senator Raphael Warnock's record-setting fundraising haul came from outside of Georgia, according to campaign finance records.
Warnock received 84 percent of his itemized individual donations from out-of-state supporters and 16 percent from Georgia residents in the final three months of 2021. Itemized donations refer to contributions of more than $200, for which campaigns are required to disclose the addresses of individual donors.
About 17 percent of the money came from donors in California, 10.6 percent from New York, 8.9 percent from the Washington, D.C., area, and 6.3 percent from Massachusetts, according to his year-end report filed with the Federal Election Commission last month.
The numbers indicate that Warnock's fundraising strength—a record $9.8 million for a Georgia Senate candidate in the last quarter—is largely fueled by out-of-state supporters, even as his campaign has credited his "fight for hardworking Georgia families" and "strong network of grassroots support" for the windfall in a statement in January.
Contributions to Warnock last quarter included $5 million in itemized donations. Donor addresses are not disclosed for unitemized donations under $200.
The Warnock campaign did not respond to a request for comment. His political opponents claim the numbers are a sign that Warnock's in-state support is lagging.
"The fact that only 16 percent of Warnock's financial support came from inside the state is the clearest sign yet that Georgians can't afford another six years of Raphael Warnock—literally," said Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for 34N22, a super PAC that is backing his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker.
Democratic congressional candidates have increasingly relied on out-of-state money to fund their campaigns in recent years, according to a joint report by the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in Politics in 2020. The report found that Democratic Senate candidates brought in 80 percent of their contributions from outside their states in 2020. The number was a substantial increase from 57 percent in out-of-state donations in 2016, according to the analysis.
Warnock is up for reelection in November after winning a special election last January. He will face off against the winner of the Republican primary, where Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner, is the current frontrunner. The hotly contested race is expected to be one of the most expensive in the country and is one of a few that could determine party control of the Senate next year.
Published under: Georgia