An overwhelming majority of the 139 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted against certifying the 2020 election results ran for reelection in 2022, with more than 95% of those who ran winning their bids.
But only 24 of the election objectors who ran for reelection raised more than the average of $2.6 million raised by incumbent Republicans this election cycle, a new OpenSecrets analysis of federal campaign finance disclosures through Oct. 19 found, the clearest indicator yet of the cost of election subversion.
Of the 124 House members who voted against certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory and ran for reelection, 118 were victorious. Democrats defeated just two incumbents in the general election, and another three lost the Republican nomination in primaries, including scandal-plagued Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
As of Nov. 17, just one race featuring an election objector remains too close to call. In Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, conservative firebrand and close Trump ally Rep. Lauren Boebert is in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Adam Frisch.
Twelve of the original 2020 election objectors chose not to run for reelection in the House in 2022. Four of those 12 chose to retire from Congress, and the other eight made bids for other federal or state offices. An additional three House members who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election, Reps. Ron Wright (R-Texas), Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), died while in office.
Two Trump-endorsed election objectors in the House, Reps. Ted Budd (R–N.C.) and Markwayne Mullin (R–Okla.), were elected to the U.S. Senate this cycle. Budd and Mullin will succeed retiring Republican Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), respectively.
Six additional election objectors made unsuccessful bids for other offices, including three for U.S. Senate and another three for state offices including attorney general, governor and secretary of state.
Trump-endorsed Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) was decisively defeated in Georgia’s Republican primary for secretary of state by the more moderate incumbent Brad Raffensperger. Another candidate backed by Trump, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), came up short in a high-profile bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in New York state.
Overall, the vast majority of House election objectors running for reelection with Trump’s endorsement won their races, many of which are in solidly Republican districts that were not competitive.
Only one Trump-endorsed election objector lost a reelection bid in the general election. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) was unseated by Democratic challenger Greg Landsman, who outraised Chabot by $471,000 in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District.
The other incumbent election objector to lose a reelection bid in the general election was Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), who was narrowly defeated by Democrat Gabe Vasquez in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. Herrell, who lost despite outraising Vasquez by $747,000, was endorsed by Trump in 2020 but not in 2022.
Election objectors continue to be big fundraisers in the House
Of the top 10 House candidates in fundraising in the 2022 cycle, four were 2020 election objectors, including Reps. Steve Scalise (R–La.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R–Ga.), Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.). Of the top ten fundraisers in the House, only one is a Republican who did not object to the 2020 results, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).
In a closed-door conference vote on Nov. 15, House Republicans nominated McCarthy as speaker of the House. House Republicans also nominated Scalise, who has been serving as minority whip, as majority leader.
Greene, a far-right conspiracy theorist who was first elected to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in 2020, was the fourth-largest fundraiser among election objectors running for reelection in the House in 2022, raising more than $11.9 million.
In what turned out to be the most expensive House race in the country this year, Greene decisively defeated her Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers by more than 30 percentage points in a largely rural district that was considered a long shot for a Democratic candidate. But Flowers raised more than $15.3 million this cycle, outraising Greene by more than $3.3 million, with both candidates receiving large majorities of small donations of $200 or less.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus is also heavily represented by election objectors who won reelection in 2022. Most members of the Freedom Caucus are election objectors who will be returning to the House next year, including Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Vice Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
More than half of the election objectors in the House who ran for reelection in 2022 were first elected to Congress from 2016 to 2020, overlapping with the Trump presidency.
And of the top 10 House election objectors whose campaigns raised the most money in 2022, a majority were first elected to Congress from 2016 to 2020.
These members include some of the most prominent allies of Trump in Congress, such as Boebert, who is ahead of Frisch by just 1,100 votes, as of Thursday, with more than 95% counted in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. In the competitive race to represent the mostly rural district in the western part of the state, Boebert raised almost $6.6 million compared with $3.7 million raised by Frisch.