Political donors gave far more money than ever before to candidates for Congress and the presidency in the 2020 election cycle, and they’re also on track to break donation records to state-level candidates.
However, while donations to federal candidates have doubled since the last presidential election cycle, the same kind of unprecedented increase hasn’t translated to the state level where contribution records were broken but not obliterated. That’s according to a joint analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in Politics.
Federal and state elections broke money records, but federal elections saw larger increase
On the federal level, the total cost of the 2020 election is expected to near $14 billion, more than twice as expensive as the 2016 cycle. House and Senate candidates smashed fundraising records, bringing in twice as much money as they did in the previous cycle.
Democrats were the driving force behind those unprecedented fundraising figures, capitalizing on their supporters’ enthusiasm to unseat President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress. Democratic congressional candidates raised $1.2 billion compared to Republicans’ $691 million.
Fundraising by federal candidates
In previous presidential election cycles before the 2020 election, fundraising by Democrats and Republicans remained relatively even. Democrats’ fundraising advantage would still be massive even when subtracting Michael Bloomberg’s $1 billion in self-funding.
While the increase at the state level was significantly smaller, contributions to gubernatorial and state legislative candidates are expected to set new records for a presidential election year, nearing $1.9 billion in the 2020 cycle, up from nearly $1.6 billion in the 2016 contest. The Institute’s projection is based on campaign finance trends, which may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and prospective donors voting early then potentially disengaging from making political contributions….[ ]