The Sweep: The Politics of the January 6 Hearings

Last week Axios reported the very unsurprising news that “Google Trends data shows midterm voters have ‘very low interest’ in Jan. 6 compared to topics like jobs, taxes and gun policy.” It also noted that a recent poll found that only 42 percent of Americans “support efforts to hold the Jan. 6 rioters accountable, down 10 points from a year ago.”

Anytime a party focuses on something that a majority of voters either aren’t interested in or don’t agree with (or both, in this case), there’s a risk of an own goal. Republicans can point to the hearings and argue Democrats are out of touch with voters on things like inflation and gas prices. 

So why are they doing it? Certainly there’s an argument to be made that there’s the principle of the whole thing. Posterity. But don’t forget small dollar fundraising. Axios has tracked more than 500 fundraising emails in the last month from Democratic campaigns, party committees and independent political spenders, including the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, that are tied to the January 6 attack or investigation. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—small dollar fundraising is a problem for both parties. Hand in hand with partisan primaries, it’s driving a political agenda totally apart from the interests of the vast, vast majority of voters at this point. But with that much money on the line, there is no turning back. And that shrinking pool of potential small dollar donors will require more and more extreme measures to reach, and more and more outrage to get them to open their wallets.

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