In the political storm leading up to the 2024 election cycle, certain members of the Democratic Party, notably those holding strong anti-Israel sentiments, are encountering significant campaign finance troubles. This cash crunch might intensify the already heated environment they’re navigating.
According to a review by the Washington Free Beacon, “The Squad,” which includes some of the most vocal anti-Israel members of Congress, has been facing financial challenges. Key figures such as Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have either been outspending their raised funds or seeing a decline in their fundraising endeavors. For instance, Tlaib only managed to gather $151,000 for the quarter ending on September 30, whereas Omar, during the same timeframe, raised less than half of her 2019 figure.
The Hamas Squad Face Campaign Finance Woes and Primary Challenges https://t.co/1hOTTHHoDv
— Brian Doherty (@BDOH) October 17, 2023
The financial hurdles for Squad members arrive as their sharp criticisms of Israel persist, particularly following Hamas’s attacks on Israel. Their complaints, which have been perceived by many as supporting groups linked to terrorism, have elicited backlash not just from conservatives but also from moderate Democrats and the Biden White House. It’s suggested that their anti-Israel rhetoric could make them vulnerable to primary challenges in the upcoming election cycle.
Omar, along with Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Summer Lee (D-PA) may face primary challenges due to their anti-Israel stances. Don Samuels, who narrowly lost to Omar in the previous cycle, is gearing up to contest against her again, focusing on her history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks.
These financial setbacks among Squad members vary in severity. While Omar holds nearly $650,000 in cash, Bush’s campaign faces about $130,000 in debt, and Pressley has a mere $186,000 in the bank. Interestingly, despite her financial woes, Bush drew attention by paying her husband $12,500 in campaign funds, which some critics argue might be a misuse of these funds.
As the Democratic Party finds itself split on the Israel issue, polls suggest that most Americans stand with Israel. A conservative survey from the Senate Opportunity Fund found that nearly 70% of respondents support Israel in its conflict with Hamas.
Yet, even with mounting criticism and public sentiment leaning toward support for Israel, members of the Squad haven’t shifted their stance. They’ve continued to associate with groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, which recently backed an anti-Israel protest in New York City.
The response to Hamas’s attacks on Israel has brought challenges for some Squad members in their home districts. In Pittsburgh, local councilwoman Bhavini Patel (D), backed by Jewish and pro-Israel activists, criticized Summer Lee’s reactions to the conflict. Patel emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself and critiqued Lee’s absence from community gatherings post-attacks.
The challenges are evident in other districts as well. In Minneapolis, former city councilman Don Samuels (D) is preparing for a rematch against Omar, planning to spotlight her criticism of Israel. The ongoing conflict might amplify the intensity of this race, potentially positioning Omar unfavorably.
It’s evident that the shifting dynamics around the Israel issue, combined with campaign finance woes, could make the upcoming primary season especially turbulent for the Squad members. Their controversial stances, especially when out of sync with mainstream Democratic views and broader public sentiment, might reshape the 2024 political landscape.