Cash-Strapped Rep. Steve King Left in Cold by Republicans and Big Donors
Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) racism and misogyny may have finally caught up with him. According to The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay, King reported a mere $18,365 in cash at the end of June. That’s a pittance for an incumbent congressman facing a primary challenge and, according to Markay, it’s the smallest amount he’s had on record at this point in the campaign cycle.
Even if King beats his primary challenger, Republican state senator Randy Feenstra —which is looking less and less likely — he would still have to face his Democratic opponent from 2018, former professional baseball player J.D. Scholten, who lost to King by fewer than three points in the midterms. Comparatively, King’s primary challenger Feenstra reported having $337,314 cash on hand at the end of July—upwards of $300,000 more cash than King.
While King still has a relatively similar amount of individual donors, donations from large PACs, corporations and his Republican colleagues have all dried up. Earlier this year, King was stripped of his congressional committee assignments over white supremacist remarks he made.
He also got into trouble this month for comments he made about abortion in cases of rape and incest. He said there would not be “any population of the world left” were it not for rape and incest. While King has admitted his remarks “could have been softer,” he has not retracted them.
King’s controversial views are likely responsible for his lack of funds. Previous donors to King, including the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Homebuilders, AT&T, Crystal Sugars, and the Rain and Hail Insurance Society, have all failed to give him money for the 2020 cycle, and some, including six industry PACs, are directing their donations to King’s challenger.
The Republican Party has also refused to donate to King this cycle, and while he has never been very reliant on these relatively small donations, it’s a sign that many in the party are no longer supportive of King, and some are even calling for his resignation.
So, is this the end of Steve King’s political career? Will he finally face real consequences for his remarks? It’s possible. After all, it’s tough to beat an opponent who has out-raised you 18:1, even for an incumbent.
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