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A searing report from the Charlotte Observer and the Center for Responsive Politics revealed one of the key contrasts between Senator Thom Tillis and his opponent Cal Cunningham — while Cal’s campaign has refused to take corporate PAC money and is running a people-powered campaign, Tillis is “relying on big-money donors and industry political action committees” to prop him up.
Just four percent of Senator Thom Tillis’ contributions came from small dollar donors. Not only does Tillis have the lowest approval rating in the United States Senate but Tillis also ranks second in PAC money received so far in 2020.
And Tillis, who voted to take away health care from millions of Americans and defended the interests of big pharma, received the “second-most amount of money among senators from the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.”
The fact that Tillis raised virtually nothing from grassroots donations strikes a stark contrast with Cal Cunningham, who has sworn off corporate PAC money. And in the third quarter, 94 percent of Cal’s donations came from contributions less than $100.
Cal’s campaign told the Observer of Cal’s third quarter fundraising: “Not only did Cal out-raise Senator Tillis in individual donations, but Senator Tillis had to depend on a corporate PAC money bailout just to keep up. Ninety-four percent of Cal’s contributions were less than $100, the kind of grassroots fundraising that Senator Tillis can’t match.”
Read more below.
By Brian Murphy and Karl Evers-Hillstrom – October 25, 2019
Sen. Thom Tillis is relying on big-money donors and industry political action committees to raise money for his 2020 re-election bid.
Tillis, a Republican, has raised $7.3 million for his re-election bid, with 48% coming from contributions of more than $200 from individuals and another 40% coming from political action committees.
Tillis has raised just 4% of his money from small-dollar donors, defined as those who give $200 or less.
Tillis ranks second in the Senate for the 2020 cycle in PAC money received and other Republicans facing 2020 races have been able to tap into the small-donor network.
Tillis has received more than $2.9 million from PACs, second only to Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican who is also facing a tough 2020 re-election campaign.
More than $2.4 million of that money has come from business-organized PACs.
Tillis has received the second-most amount of money among senators from the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
Tillis, between his campaign and his leadership PAC, took in more than $408,000 from the pharmaceutical industry, 78% of that from industry PACs.
“Not only did Cal out-raise Senator Tillis in individual donations, but Senator Tillis had to depend on a corporate PAC money bailout just to keep up,” Aaron Simpson, Cunningham’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement, referencing third-quarter numbers. “Ninety-four percent of Cal’s contributions were less than $100, the kind of grassroots fundraising that Senator Tillis can’t match.”
Tillis and Cunningham have raised the most money for the 2020 campaign.
Read more here.