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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley's effort to block certification of the 2020 election has been a fundraising boon — not just for him but his party, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Corporate donors and establishment Republicans recoiled at the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol that followed efforts by Hawley (R-Mo.) and others to block President Biden's Electoral College victory. But fundraising numbers show the GOP grassroots is still firmly in Hawley's camp.

What's new: Digital fundraising appeals sent by the National Republican Senatorial Committee under Hawley's name raised more money in February than those of any other senator except NRSC Chairman Rick Scott.

  • The NRSC has a Hawley-branded page on the fundraising platform WinRed, asking donors to "help end cancel culture and take back the Senate majority!" It also sent at least two fundraising emails last month under Hawley's name.
  • Scott (R-Fla.) was another of the eight senators to vote against certification, but fears it also might dent NRSC fundraising do not appear to be bearing out.

Hawley's personal fundraising also has spiked, according to data provided by a source close to his campaign.

  • From Jan. 1 through March 5, Hawley's campaign brought in more than $1.5 million from nearly 28,000 donors, the vast majority of whom had never given to him before.
  • That's more than 12 times what Hawley raised during the first quarter of 2020, and more than 34 times what he brought in during the first quarter of 2019 — and there's still more than three weeks left in the current quarter.
  • Hawley also has received some fundraising help from the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has been bundling contributions for him.

Independent political spenders have also gotten in on the action.

  • A PAC called Protect American Values has sent a number of fundraising emails since February using Hawley's name to try to raise money for itself.
  • "Josh is not just a U.S. senator, but now he’s also the symbol of the patriotic, liberty-loving American who refuses to give up and is frustrated by the leftist takeover of America," one of the group's emails declared.

Between the lines: In the weeks after the Capitol attack, it looked like Republicans might try to steer the party away from the Trump-aligned bloc that tried to block election certification.

  • Part of that was fueled by a swift and widespread backlash from the party's corporate donors, many of which swore off contributions to members who had voted against certifying electoral college results.
  • These numbers indicate the party's grassroots backfilled any losses by stepping up on behalf of the lawmakers who may have been targeted.
  • Now even some major corporate donors, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say they won't cut off members of Congress just because they voted against certification.

The bottom line: Campaign donations are the lifeblood of politicians, and right now there's little such incentive for Republicans to tack toward the center.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
18 mins ago - Technology

Meet your doctor's AI assistant

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Artificial intelligence is breaking into the doctor's office, with new models that can transcribe, analyze and even offer predictions based on written notes and conversations between physicians and their patients.

Why it matters: AI models can increasingly be trained on what we tell our doctors, now that they're starting to understand our written notes and even our conversations. That will open up new possibilities for care — and new concerns about privacy.

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.