Speaker Johnson Faces Major Hurdle

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(PartiallyPolitics.com) – Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is going to have a big hill to climb ahead of the 2024 presidential cycle as he is going to need to become the House Republicans top fundraiser. Johnson will also have to fill former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shoes which could be challenging.

Johnson, who first entered Congress in 2017, has not been heavily involved in fundraising for his party. He is also situated in a deep red district which has allowed him to get away with minimal fundraising. In fact, during his career in Congress thus far Johnson has only raised $5.5 million.

In contrast, McCarthy, whose shoes he has to fill, raised around $500 million just during the 2022 campaign cycle. This was one of the most expensive Republican donor networks. With only one week until the next election, and the Republicans needing to maintain their slim House majority, fundraising is undoubtedly going to be important.

House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) spoke about the uphill climb that Johnson is on. As he said drawing an analogy no one remembers who the top player in the Chicago Bulls was after the exit of Michael Jordan. He added that while Johnson might turn out to be a greater player this was something that McCarthy did better than all others.

Cole also pointed out that Johnson would need to “ramp it up” quickly. As he said the learning curve for fundraising was going to be steep as House Republicans rely on the Speaker in order to raise the required amounts in support of candidates. In the first month of 2023, McCarthy had raised around $78 million, with $15 of that having exclusively been raised in the third quarter.

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