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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Republican Voters Against Trump/Republican Accountability PAC

Political leanings: Anti-Donald Trump

2022 total spending: $12.9 million

Republican Voters Against Trump, a project of the Republican Accountability PAC, was originally established in 2020 as a standalone super PAC to oppose the reelection of then-President Donald Trump. The project currently focuses on sharing online testimonials from “former Trump voters [who] don’t believe he should ever hold office again.”

Longtime conservative strategist Sarah Longwell founded RVAT with Bill Kristol, who worked in the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, and Tim Miller, the former communications director for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign. Longwell also leads the Republican Accountability PAC, which started as a super PAC in 2022.

Super PACs, officially known as independent expenditure-only committees, can accept unlimited contributions that can be spent advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates. The independent expenditures cannot be coordinated with candidates, campaigns or political parties, and the donors to the super PACs must be disclosed in filings to the Federal Election Commission.

As a super PAC in 2020, Republican Voters Against Trump spent almost $9 million of the nearly $10.1 million it raised on independent expenditures. Over $6.7 million of its donations came from Defending Democracy Together, a nonprofit organization that Longwell founded to fight Republican abuses of power. John Pritzker, whose family owns Hyatt Hotels, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg each contributed $500,000.

In the lead up to the 2020 election, RVAT’s ads targeted voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four of the six states — Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — flipped from supporting Trump in 2016 to supporting Democratic candidate Joe Biden in 2020.

After it was terminated in 2021 as a super PAC, RVAT came back in 2022 as a project of Defending Democracy Together. Now, RVAT is part of the Republican Accountability PAC’s efforts to defeat Trump.

Through March 31, the Republican Accountability PAC had raised more than $14.6 million and spent over $3.1 million this election cycle, FEC records show. As of May 7, the group has spent almost $1.6 million on independent expenditures opposing the former president, according to more recent data from OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan organization that tracks money in politics.

The super PAC is planning to spend $50 million on its campaign against Trump before Election Day, according to the New York Times.

Major donors to the group include Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn who funded E. Jean Carroll’s civil sexual assault lawsuit against Trump, who has given $6 million, and Seth Klarman, CEO of the Baupost Group hedge fund, who donated $3 million. Defending Democracy Together has also contributed $2 million, so far.

For the 2022 midterms, the Republican Accountability PAC raised roughly $13.5 million and spent over $12.9 million. About $4.4 million of its spending was on independent expenditures trying to defeat several Republicans running for Congress, including J.D. Vance, Herschel Walker and Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Times reported that the PAC targeted candidates “who embraced” Trump’s 2020 election “conspiracy theories.”