Hillary Clinton is getting more involved in the 2018 midterms. Clinton, through her political organization Onward Together, donated the maximum of $5,000 to 19 Democratic House candidates and four secretary of state candidates in June, according to the group’s filings with the Federal Election Commission. The donations represent the most concentrated midterm effort the former Democratic presidential nominee has made to date and further thrust Clinton into an election that will be the most potent judgment on Trump since he defeated her two years earlier.
Eleven of the House candidates who received donations from Clinton are vying to flip districts represented by Republicans in Congress that she won in 2016.
While the former Democratic nominee has publicly endorsed Democrats on the ballot in November, she has yet to publicly hit the campaign trail and has largely kept her distance from 2018 campaign politics. One reason is strategic: Republicans are eager to tie Democratic candidates, especially those running in districts that lean Republican, to national figures like Clinton, a fact people close to the former secretary of state is well aware of.
These donations give Republicans a chance to hang Clinton’s lack of popularity with Republican voters over Democratic challengers. Clinton, though, remains popular with Democratic voters, meaning her backing of a House candidate could help with base supporters.
Clinton’s donations did not exclusively go to candidates on the DCCC’s list however. She also donated $5,000 each to Deb Haaland in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, McBath in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Mary Gay Scanlon in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District and Talley Sergent in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District — all of whom are not on the “Red to Blue” list.
“Democrats all across the country are unified behind taking back the House. The more that people step up and invest in our incredible candidates, the more they can communicate their records of service to voters and the better off we are,” said Meredith Kelly, communications director for the DCCC. “We greatly appreciate Secretary Clinton’s support toward that goal.”
Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee said of the donations in a statement, “The longer a scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton lingers in American politics, the worse off House Democrats will be. We can only hope the Pelosi/Clinton tandem takes their show on the road this fall.”