With the midterms underway, we have a better sense than ever before of how a few megadonors who have spent two years funding efforts to discredit the 2020 election are trying to influence the results of the 2022 vote. Prominent national financial supporters of false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Donald Trump are spending big in races across the country for Congress and state offices, including positions that will play key roles in running or certifying the 2024 elections.
The Brennan Center has gathered what’s known about spending by the top national financers of election denying candidates. We found that just seven sources (counting married couples and key groups as single sources) have together given almost $71.5 million in support of state and federal candidates who cast doubt on the 2020 election, through both direct contributions and funding for super PACs.
The same sources have reportedly spent at least $64 million on efforts to overturn President Biden’s win — like lawsuits, the ballot review in Arizona’s Maricopa County, and the January 6 insurrection — or manipulate election processes for this year’s races — such as mass voter registration challenges in some counties and efforts in several states to recruit poll monitors and workers sympathetic to election denial. These activities are typically conducted through groups that don’t disclose their finances. In most cases, the only source of information available is a donor’s public claim to have given some amount, so we have no way of knowing the true scale of this spending.
Despite the huge amounts of money backing election denier candidates, they are still being outraised by their opponents in statewide races in battleground states, as we recently detailed in this report.