Democrats Have Burned Through $35 Million On 4 Special Election Losses Since Trump Took Office

Victorious Georgian Republican candidate Karen Handel / Getty Images
June 21, 2017

Democrats have blown through $35 million on special elections since President Donald Trump took office and do not have a single victory to show for it.

Democrats dumped most of their money into Georgia's record-breaking special election. Despite this, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff ended up losing the election by a wider margin than the Democratic candidate in South Carolina, whose election took place on the same day.

Below is a breakdown of the money that Democrats have spent on every special election that they have lost.

Georgia 6th congressional district (June 20):

Ossoff's campaign raised $23 million and spent $22 million for the high-profile June 20 special election. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) threw $5 million into the race. Other outside liberal groups added $2.5 million.

More than $30 million was spent on Ossoff who lost to Republican Karen Handel by 10,000 votes, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.

South Carolina's 5th congressional district (June 20):

Democratic candidate Archie Parnell's June 20 special election was overshadowed by the election in Georgia. Parnell pulled in $558,000 in contributions for his campaign and disbursed $518,000.

The DCCC spent just $275,000 to support Parnell's congressional run and instead opted to drop millions into Georgia's special election.

Parnell lost by just 2,836 votes to Republican Ralph Norman, 51.1 percent to 47.9 percent, a closer margin than Ossoff's race.

Montana At-large district (May 25):

Democrat Rob Quist raised $3.3 million and spent $2.6 million, according to FEC filings.

Around $660,000 poured in from outside groups including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Progressive Turnout Project, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

More than $3 million was spent on Quist's unsuccessful effort. Quist lost by a little more than 5 points to Republican Greg Gianforte, 50 percent to 44.4 percent.

Kansas 4th congressional district (April 11):

Democratic candidate James Thompson raised $833,000 and disbursed $712,000 from his campaign funds.

Thompson received little help from outside groups. At one point, Thompson's campaign publicly feuded with the state Democratic Party after the party would not approve $20,000 for the campaign.

Thompson lost to Republican Ron Estes, 52.5 percent to 45.7 percent.

Published under: Campaign Finance , DCCC