Our Failed Political Press ™ often points to the fundraising totals of candidates to imply that they have a massive grassroots support, so I’m going to take this as good news, kinda:
Republicans’ Secret Swing-Seat Weapon? Dozens of Rich Nominees.
The Democratic cash crunch has become a defining factor in the closing days of the midterm elections, with the party’s national groups pulling out of a number of swing districts across the map because of the shortfall. While Republicans’ financial strength is largely attributable to their close relationships with the millionaire and billionaire donors who fund their political action committees, they are increasingly utilizing their connection with wealthy political donors in another fashion: by recruiting them to run for office.
The most egregious example of a candidate bankrolling their own run this cycle is Pennsylvania Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, who has used the fortune he obtained hawking questionable medical advice to pour over $20 million into his race against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. But while the high-profile nature of competitive Senate races ensures both nominees will raise enough money to get out their message, self-funding often has a much greater impact in House races, where a sizable financial edge can end a potentially competitive race before it even begins.
A Prospect analysis of the 68 competitive House races this cycle—defined as the 50 races FiveThirtyEight deems most competitive, as well as other seats where national party PACs have invested money—indicates that Republicans have substantially padded their financial advantage by recruiting a jaw-dropping number of wealthy nominees. Thirty-six of the 68 Republicans running in competitive races have loaned their campaigns money. And 21 of those 36—nearly a third of the Republican nominees in tight contests—have given their campaigns more than $100,000.
As you guys know, I’m a firm believer in actual facts, and so having a study that shows what we have long suspected is comforting. These Republican fat cat bastards have public support that is as shallow as they are. To the extent that voters watch ads (and I am no longer sure that they do) and those ads are effective (again not sure), money is important. I don’t want to discourage anyone from donating to the campaign of their choice, but I do suggest getting out the vote, knocking on doors, phone banking is more effective.