Iowa Democrat Raises $137K In 8 Days To Challenge Congressman Steve King

One week after Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) praised controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders in a tweet, his 2016, and possible 2018, opponent reports a massive fundraising haul.

Democrat Kim Weaver, of Sheldon, who lost to King in the 2016 Iowa 4th congressional district contest, raised $159,626 over that entire two-year cycle.

Weaver said Monday that people were so outraged by King’s March 12 comments that she has received $137,183 over the eight following days. She said $100,000 of that amount came in the first four days after King in a tweet praised a Dutch presidential candidate, writing that Geert Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

King easily survived an establishment wing primary bid last year before going on to defeat Weaver by 22% in the general election.

There is certainly energy and passion on the Democratic side right now as seen by Weaver’s fundraising and the amount of money flowing into Jon Ossoff’s campaign in Georgia’s 6th congressional district special election race. The challenge for Democrats is turning that national energy and money (often from out of the district) into actual votes.

Democrats are beginning to worry that even that energy may begin to dissipate soon as “Trump fatigue” sets in.

Right now, Democrats and their activist allies might have a bigger problem than their internal conflict: Many of them said the energy that was so prevalent in the weeks immediately following Trump’s election and inauguration had waned – what Tisch Sussman called a “fatigue moment.”

The progressive leaders said they were not yet worried. But they acknowledged that the widespread enthusiasm that helped some of their groups add as many as 50,000 members won’t be permanent.

It’s why these groups say they have to start thinking about how to sustain their movement.

“In the very beginning, there was just a lot of energy, a lot of emotion, a lot of frustration, and groups like mind swelled in numbers,” said Andy Kim, founder of Rise Stronger, a group that seeks to connect grass-roots organizers with policy experts. “This next phase is the strategic phase.”

The biggest challenge for Democrats in harnessing this energy and maintaining engagement is showing results at either the ballot box or thwarting Republican victories in Congress.