But a year after delighting liberals with their insistence on bringing guns to a gunfight, operatives across the spectrum now say the group is, at best, ineffective and prodigal, at worst, counterproductive. In particular, fellow never-Trumpers and moderate Republicans have recoiled at Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson’s recent encouragement of a Trump presidential run in 2024…
More broadly, Democrats who once saw the Lincoln Project as a helpful compliment to their efforts to defeat Trump now view the group as a distraction and a drain of broader campaign funds.
“When it first started, I was like, ‘This is so great. I love it,’” said Tim Lim, a veteran Democratic digital strategist. Now, Lim added, “most of the left is not sure why they’re still around. That’s the prognosis in story after story, and it’s been brutal for them.”
With fewer allies and Trump off the ballot, the Lincoln Project has suffered financially. In the first half of 2021, the most recent figures available, the group raised $4.8 million and spent $8.7 million, an exceedingly high burn rate. But digital strategists predicted that the organization, with its robust email list, could survive down cycles. The idea that it’s so far been able to withstand so much scandal and infighting has surprised people familiar with the dynamics, including several who believe the Lincoln Project long exceeded its expiration point.