Online donations to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) surged during the first three months of the year as she battled anti-Muslim rhetoric and accusations of anti-Semitism.
According to a fundraising report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission, the freshman congresswoman raised $832,000 from Jan. 1 through March 31 of this year. About half of those contributions came from people who donated less than $200. Approximately $631,000 came from internet donors via an online Democratic fundraising platform called ActBlue, Politico reported.
For the past few months, Omar has been embroiled in controversy over comments she made criticizing the influence of the pro-Israel lobby within the United States. She’s also been bombarded by attacks from the GOP ― and some of her fellow Democrats ― who regarded her remarks as anti-Semitic. Omar has repeatedly clarified that she was speaking out against a foreign right-wing government and not the Jewish community.
In the past week, Omar has been subject to anti-Muslim insults and death threats that were fueled by conservatives’ constant attacks on Twitter. Even President Donald Trump tweeted a misleading video about Omar’s comments regarding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life ― many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video,” Omar said Sunday night. “I thank the Capitol Police, the FBI, the House Sergeant at Arms and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) gave Omar $2,000 on March 28 and has been a consistent vocal defender. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). donated $1,000 to Omar a day after Ocasio-Cortez, and also defended her after several House Democrats drafted a resolution to formally condemn anti-Semitism as a response to Omar’s comments. The resolution eventually condemned all forms of hate speech following backlash from Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez.
Omar was one of the top fundraising House Democrats this quarter, per Politico. Her campaign spent about $241,000, and as of the end of the quarter, she had $607,000 cash on hand.
Omar’s district in Minnesota, which includes downtown Minneapolis, skews Democratic. She won by a 56-point margin in the November midterm elections, succeeding now-state Attorney General Keith Ellison.