Multiple state Republican Party organizations in several 2024 battleground states are on the verge of financial ruin, largely thanks to infighting between institutional conservatives and the MAGA wing of the GOP.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the existing Republican Party apparatus in the critical swing states of Arizona, Georgia and Michigan have been decimated by the ongoing legal battles associated with former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. GOP leaders in those states have also reportedly had to put their 2024 organizing efforts on the back burner while addressing internal ideological struggles with MAGA activists.
"We desperately need to keep the lights on," Arizona GOP chairman Jeff DeWit reportedly told Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Ronna McDaniel during an April meeting.
According to an unnamed Republican source, DeWit requested the meeting with senior RNC leadership in the wake of sizable legal bills associated with Trump and his allies' attempts to submit alternate slates of electors in Arizona in 2020. The Post reported that the Arizona GOP's latest financial disclosure statements showed the party had just $55,000 to spend on federal races, and still owed roughly $34,000 to campaign vendors.
"[DeWit] would just ask people, 'When does money start cycling in?'" The Post's source said.
In Georgia, the state party has been so paralyzed by infighting between far-right zealots and traditional conservatives that Republican Governor Brian Kemp — who fended off a primary challenge from a Trump-endorsed candidate — created a separate PAC with legislative allies to end-run the Georgia GOP and support candidates directly.
"There has been an emphasis on ideological cleansing instead of electioneering," former Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Watson told the Post. "If those new entrants to the party want to argue the earth is flat and the election is stolen, those are counterproductive to winning elections."
Like Arizona, Georgia's Republican Party has been hamstrung by costly legal bills, with the Post reporting that the state party organization spent more than $500,000 paying down attorneys' fees relating to team Trump's alternate elector scheme. Georgia GOP donors have reportedly soured on financially backing the state party over concerns that Trump's influence cost Republicans two US Senate seats, with Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock winning six-year terms in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
The most financially destitute Republican Party organization may be in Michigan, with the Post reporting that legal costs associated with Trump's attempts to overturn the election in the Mitten State have contributed to the party's $375,000 deficit. After MAGA activists elected 2020 election conspiracy theorist Kristina Karamo as party chair, the party's financial condition has reportedly led to her former supporters yearning for her replacement. The party has also been in a heated internal battle concerning a list that labeled some GOP activists as potential volunteers, and others as "RINOs," or "Republicans In Name Only."
"I think amateur hour is in full swing," Michigan Republican Party district chairman Jon Smith said of the list.
Click here to read the Post's full report in its entirety.