The 2014 midterm elections saw fewer contributors making bigger donations, The Wall Street Journal
Some $3.6 billion was spent in the election cycle, with 667,000 contributors — nearly 20 percent fewer than in 2010 — giving more than $200 each. The National Republican Senatorial Committee bundled $57 million from 36,000 donors this year, compared to pulling together $44 million from about 77,000 donors in 2010, the Journal reported.
As a result of the April 2014 Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC
,which removed the $123,200 aggregate limit on individual contributions to candidates, campaigns were able to reach out to fewer wealthier donors to fill their coffers, the Journal reported.
About 498 contributors made donations at levels that would not have been possible before the court ruling.
This cycle, just five donors giving a combined $1.9 million were able to provide the money 15 donors would have had to give in the pre-McCutcheon era. Republican candidates picked up seven of the country's top 10 donors, the Journal reported.
These calculations exclude tens of millions in super PAC money and cash channeled to 501(c)4 nonprofits, the Journal reported.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
that corporations and nonprofits could give as much as they wanted to political campaigns, The New York Times reported at the time.
"Even where Democrats had raised more in pivotal Senate races, though, they still were mostly beaten. Several key differences between the two sides emerged on the fundraising front, with Democrats increasing their reliance on small donors since 2010 while Republicans turned sharply to big dollar donors," according to the Center for Responsive Politics
Paradoxically, it cost less to win in 2014 than it did in 2012.
While it cost on average $1.2 million to win a House seat this cycle, the 2012 price tag averaged $1.5 million. Similarly, the average Senate seat cost $8.6 million, compared to $11.4 million in 2012, according to the Center.
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