special: An influential conservative political group has begun to turn out more than ever before, supporting conservatives in primaries rather than waiting for whoever wins the GOP primaries to support them.
Americans for Prosperity’s grassroots election arm (AFP Action) announced its first slate of Senate and gubernatorial endorsements Tuesday, following $70 million in fundraising and the first round of House endorsements in key races across the country.
According to AFP action director Nathan Nascimento, the goal is to support quality candidates early to ensure better choices for voters in general elections at all levels of elected office.
“The last three election cycles have made it clear that if we want better policies from Washington, we need better candidates who can move our country forward,” Nascimento told Fox News Digital in a statement.
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Engaging in grassroots battles is new for AFP Action, and Nascimento said the effort will be “coupled with the unprecedented capabilities of data to bring new voters into the political process.”
“We stand ready to deploy the strongest and most effective grassroots forces in the country to change the outcomes of key races and elect champions for policies that empower Americans.”
The 2024 Senate map favors the GOP — due to the sheer number of Democrats defending seats in Republican-leaning states and swing states — with three Republicans in key races in the first round of Senate endorsements from AFP Action.
AFP endorses Sam Brown for the Nevada Senate seat currently held by Senator Jackie Rosen. Brown sought to run for Senate in the 2022 midterm elections against Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, but lost in the GOP primary to Adam Laxalt — who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Laxalt lost to Musto in November by less than 8,000 votes.
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Sen. of Nebraska. Pete Ricketts – who is running in a special election to fill out the remainder of former Senator Ben Sasse’s term – will also have the support of AFP. Ricketts has announced a GOP challenger in former Rep. John Glenn Weaver — whose campaign has yet to gather much steam. Weaver said Nebraska Public Media that he had not yet raised $5,000 in his campaign, but would increase fundraising in the third quarter;
The third early endorsement is Dave McCormick, who has yet to formally announce a Senate campaign against Democratic Sen. John Casey in Pennsylvania. McCormick lost in the 2022 GOP primary to Mehmet Oz — a physician and former TV show host who won Trump’s endorsement and later lost to Ab Sen in the general election. John Fetterman.
Trump blamed the GOP for much of the Senate cost in 2022, despite Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives.
In a highly watched Senate race that many pundits predicted would be a “red wave” election, several of Trump’s handpicked candidates failed to win the general election. Along with Oz and Laxalt, Republican candidate Scott Walker of Georgia, a former University of Georgia football coach who won the GOP primary after being encouraged by Trump, suffered defeat.
Trump deflected blame from the losing candidates, arguing that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell undercut and underfunded his candidates. Trump also blamed abortion — which Democrats called Roe v. Made an election issue after Wade’s reversal – to Republican losses.
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AFP is also endorsing Mike Brown for governor of Indiana and Patrick Morrissey for governor of West Virginia.
In a ___ February memoAFP CEO Emily Seidel highlighted two points in the 2022 midterm elections: The Republican Party was nominating bad candidates, and the Democrats were taking advantage.
According to Seidel, “The loudest voice in each political party sets the tone for the entire election. In a presidential year, that’s the presidential candidate.”
Although AFP has not endorsed a candidate in the GOP primary, the group pledged in February to support a nominee “who can move our country forward, and who can win.”
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AFP was founded by Kansas-based billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, better known as the Koch Brothers.
David Koch withdrew from the AFP before his death in 2019.