Political Party/527

Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT)

Website:

rvat.org/

Location:

Washington, DC

Status:

Super PAC

Founder:

Sarah Longwell

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Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) is a Super PAC that opposes former President Donald Trump primarily by producing advertisements featuring voters who formerly supported  Republican candidates but oppose Trump. RVAT has announced plans to spend $50 million in the 2024 election cycle. RVAT is based in Washington, D.C. 1

RVAT was created by political consultants Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller and longtime conservative commentator Bill Kristol. Longwell has also worked with the anti-Trump groups Defending Democracy Together and Republicans for the Rule of Law. 2

2020 Election Cycle

In May 2020, Republican Voters Against Trump announced its intentions to spend $10 million in the 2020 election cycle. Much of RVAT’s expenditure was directed toward the production and advertisement of over 1,000 homemade testimonials from ordinary Republican voters opposing then-President Donald Trump collected over the previous three years. Ads were targeted in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. 3 4

In the 2020 election cycle, RVAT reported raising and spending over $10 million. 5 All spending was either for Democrats or against Republicans.6 Almost $6.8 million was raised from Defending Democracy Together. Other major contributors included former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg ($500,000) and people who reported on FEC disclosures that they were employed by Geolo Capital ($500,000), Jane Street Capital ($260,000), Sword and Spoon Group ($200,000), Oaktree Capital Management ($130,000), and SV Angel LLC ($125,000). 7

In 2020, RVAT’s largest expenditure category was over $8.1 million for “unspecified media buys.” The largest vendor was Political Communications Advertising, to which RVAT paid $8.3 million. Defending Democracy Together was a major vendor, to which RVAT paid $200,000, as well as A4 Media, which was paid $550,000. Longwell Partners was paid almost $88,000. 8

2022 Election Cycle

In 2022, political consultant Sarah Longwell launched the Republican Accountability PAC to conduct campaigns similar to those conducted by Republican Voters Against Trump to support anti-Trump Republicans in the mid-term elections. The group supported then-U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and opposed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano (R). Longwell has called these campaigns “a version” of RVAT at smaller scales. 9 10

2024 Election Cycle

In March 2024, Republican Voters Against Trump announced that it planned to spend $50 million in the 2024 election cycle, mostly through homemade testimonials by Republican voters who oppose former President Donald Trump. Every testimonial is from a Republican who previously voted for former President Trump. Many of the testimonials focused on the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Trump. 11 12

The testimonials are anti-Trump, but do not voice support for President Joe Biden. However, in an interview, Sarah Longwell stated that one of the targeted constituencies for the campaign is “double-doubters,” or individuals who are opposed to both former President Trump and President Joe Biden, with the intention of encouraging these voters to cast their vote for President Biden. 13

As of March 2024, RVAT had $20 million committed to its election campaign. 14

Also in March 2024, RVAT launched a campaign highlighting former Vice President Mike Pence’s decision not to endorse former President Trump in the 2024 presidential election. 15

Leadership

The New York Times characterized Republican Voters Against Trump as the “brainchild” of political consultant Sarah Longwell, conservative writer Bill Kristol, and Tim Miller, a former aide to former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL). 16

Longwell is a political consultant notable for her opposition to President Donald Trump. She is the president and chief executive officer of Longwell Partners, a political consulting firm. Longwell also co-founded Defending Democracy Together (which shares office space with Longwell Partners 17) and was a spokesperson for Republicans for the Rule of Law. She is a former national board chair of the Log Cabin Republicans. 18

Patrick Stoltzfus is listed as RVAT’s treasurer in FEC filings. 19 Since December 2022, Stoltzfus has worked at Longwell Partners as executive vice president of finance and administration. Stoltzfus previously worked at Tate and Tryon as an auditor. 20

References

  1. About Us.” Republican Voters Against Trump. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://rvat.org/about-us/.
  2. “Dana Bash.” Twitter. March 21, 2024. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/1770871268306235834.
  3. Karni, Annie. “Get Republicans to Vote Against Trump? This Group Will Spend $10 Million to Try.” New York Times. May 28, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us/politics/republican-voters-against-trump.html.
  4. Epstein, Reid J. “Anti-Trump Group of Republicans Lays Out $50 Million Plan of Attack.” The New York Times. March 12, 2024. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/12/us/politics/republican-voters-against-trump.html.
  5. “PAC Profile: Republican Voters Against Trump.” Open Secrets. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-voters-against-trump/C00751420/summary/2020.
  6. “Republican Voters Against Trump Outside Spending.” Open Secrets. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/outside-spending/detail?cmte=C00751420&cycle=2020.
  7. “Top Organizations Disclosing Donations to Republican Voters Against Trump, 2020.” March 20, 2024. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/outside-spending/detail/2020?cmte=C00751420&tab=donors.
  8. “Expenditures by Republican Voters Against Trump, 2020.” Open Secrets. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/outside-spending/detail/2020?cmte=C00751420&tab=expenditures.
  9. Hounshell, Blake. “An Anti-Trump Republican Group Is Back for the Midterms.” New York Times. July 11, 2022. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/11/us/politics/republican-accountability-pac-trump.html.
  10. “Dana Bash.” Twitter. March 21, 2024. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/1770871268306235834.
  11. Epstein, Reid J. “Anti-Trump Group of Republicans Lays Out $50 Million Plan of Attack.” The New York Times. March 12, 2024. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/12/us/politics/republican-voters-against-trump.html.
  12. “Dana Bash.” Twitter. March 21, 2024. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/1770871268306235834.
  13. “Dana Bash.” Twitter. March 21, 2024. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://twitter.com/DanaBashCNN/status/1770871268306235834.
  14. Epstein, Reid J. “Anti-Trump Group of Republicans Lays Out $50 Million Plan of Attack.” The New York Times. March 12, 2024. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/12/us/politics/republican-voters-against-trump.html.
  15. “Mike Pence Online Ad Campaign.” Republican Voters Against Trump.” Republican Voters Against Trump. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://rvat.org/mike-pence-online-ad-campaign/.
  16. Karni, Annie. “Get Republicans to Vote Against Trump? This Group Will Spend $10 Million to Try.” New York Times. May 28, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us/politics/republican-voters-against-trump.html.
  17. “Strategist Behind Republicans for the Rule of Law and The Bulwark, Launches New Communications Firm.” PR Newswire. December 3, 2019. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strategist-behind-republicans-for-the-rule-of-law-and-the-bulwark-launches-new-communications-firm-300968423.html.
  18. “Sarah Longwell.” Republican Voters Against Trump. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.longwellpartners.com/sarah-longwell/.
  19. “PAC Profile: Republican Voters Against Trump.” Open Secrets. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-voters-against-trump/C00751420/summary/2020.
  20. “Patrick Stoltzfus.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 20, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-stoltzfus-16399a105/.
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Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT)


Washington, DC