Scoop: Mike Johnson fuels House GOP’s best fundraising week of cycle
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is still paying dividends for House Republicans' grassroots fundraising a week out from his election, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: Johnson's low national profile has led to concerns that he would struggle to fill the shoes of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) when it comes to fundraising.
- McCarthy, a well-known and prolific fundraiser, raised nearly $14 million this cycle as of Sept. 30, compared to just $548,000 raised by Johnson.
Driving the news: National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Jack Pandol told Axios that the NRCC had its best online fundraising week of the cycle so far, bringing in $1 million since Johnson was elected last Wednesday.
- The period included the best day for online fundraising and donor signups in 18 months, Politico first reported.
- The majority of the week's haul came from emails sent in Johnson's name, according to Pandol.
What they're saying: "House Republicans are enjoying a digital cash geyser under Speaker Mike Johnson. The NRCC is racing to capture this enthusiasm and raise the resources to grow our House majority," Pandol said in a statement.
The other side: Democrats are hoping that Johnson's hardline conservative views on hot-button social issues including abortion and gay marriage can be used to weight down vulnerable Republicans in swing-districts.
- "He is a rare and volatile combination of unvetted [and] conservative talk show host. He actually has years of material, freestyle right-wing rhetoric, that nobody has looked under the hood on," one Democratic strategist told Axios.
What we're watching: Johnson's conservative bona fides may excite small-dollar donors, but he still faces a steep learning curve in building relationships with the wealthy donors who fuel Republican campaigns.
- To that end, Johnson opted to retain the McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund as the House GOP's primary super PAC.