Democrats raise more than $7 million in hours after leak of draft Supreme Court abortion opinion

Key Points
  • Democrats and their affiliated outside groups have raised more than $7 million since a report first unveiled a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the historic Roe v. Wade ruling.
  • The donation website ActBlue processed the gargantuan total since Politico published the original report on Monday.
  • Democrats are highlighting threats to abortion rights to raise money and boost voter enthusiasm ahead of the pivotal 2022 midterm elections.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reacts during a protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court, after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito preparing for a majority of the court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision later this year, in Washington, May 3, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Democrats and their affiliated outside groups have raised more than $7 million since a report first unveiled a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the historic Roe v. Wade ruling and allow states to restrict abortions.

The donation website ActBlue, which allows donors to contribute online to Democratic campaigns, political action committees and outside groups that often support the the party's policy goals, processed the gargantuan sum since Politico published the draft opinion Monday. CNBC calculated the amount by watching the site's live ticker since Tuesday morning and combining it with data made public through Twitter posts by Andrew Arenge, a director of operations at the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies.

Arenge tweeted out early Tuesday that "since about 9:40 PM last night (about an hour after Politico published their SCOTUS piece), Act Blue processed about $2.2M donations through their platform." Arenge has tracked the fundraising totals since the original Politico story was published, he said in previous Twitter posts.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, a nonprofit that lobbies and advocates against abortion restrictions, uses ActBlue to raise money. The group, along with fellow pro-abortion rights groups Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Emily's List, recently announced a $150 million combined investment into the 2022 midterm elections.

Democrats are highlighting threats to abortion rights to raise money and boost voter enthusiasm ahead of the pivotal 2022 midterm elections. The party risks losing its slight majorities in both the House and Senate, and since Politico published its story, Democratic leaders have called to elect more members of Congress who will vote to protect abortion rights.

Republican groups, on the other hand, have mostly focused on the unprecedented leak of the draft opinion — or not engaged on the subject at all.

Hours after the draft was leaked, the Democratic National Committee, the governing body for the party, sent out a text message to potential donors highlighting the document.

"News shows SCOTUS is set to overturn Roe. We must hold the GOP accountable for their attacks. Rush $15 to the DNC," the fundraising text message reads, with a link to an ActBlue page encouraging donors to give to the committee. The DNC is also running ads on its Facebook page calling on donors to contribute to help protect abortion rights, according to the social media platform's ad library.

The Republican National Committee, on the other hand, has not run a Facebook ad so far on either the draft decision or on the leak itself, the ad library says. In a tweet, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel called President Joe Biden and Democrats "abortion extremists" and called for a probe into the person who leaked the document.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft court opinion that would toss out the nearly 50-year-old Roe decision, but he noted that the court's decision could change. Roberts ordered an investigation to find who leaked the document to the press.

A spokesperson for ActBlue declined to comment. The DNC, the RNC and all the other groups mentioned in this story did not respond to requests for comment. WinRed, the Republican equivalent to ActBlue, did not respond to a request to comment on how much it has processed in donations since the Politico report was published.

In a later joint statement, the heads of the DNC, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee took aim at Republicans and noted that abortion will shape the 2022 midterm elections.

"These elections will now determine whether cruel new restrictions on abortion will be put in place: whether states will be allowed to criminalize abortion and ban it even in cases of rape or incest," the group of organizations said in the statement.

The DCCC, the campaign arm for House Democrats, is also trying to muster support following the release of the draft opinion.

The DCCC has an active Facebook ad that began running on Tuesday, according to the ad library. It has a picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and former President Donald Trump with the question above the two leaders, "Who do you trust to defend abortion rights?" It then leads viewers to a poll where they can give their response.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which campaigns for House Republican candidates, has not mentioned either the leak or the content of the draft decision on its Facebook page.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee — which backs GOP Senate candidates — put up a post on Tuesday trying to raise money off the leak itself.

"Democrats are trying to SCARE the Supreme Court into allowing LATE TERM abortions," the post reads, with a link to a WinRed contribution page. The donation site says "A SCOTUS ruling on abortion was LEAKED so that Democrats can pass multiple items on their radical agenda!"

It is unclear now who leaked the draft opinion or what the person's motivation was.

It concerns me that after 50 years, we're going to decide a woman doesn't have the right to choose, says Biden