Special Report

Senators and Representatives Raising the Most Money for the Midterm Election

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Politics runs on money, and it has for a long time. George Washington, a wealthy man who made his fortune initially through land speculation, spent heavily — “many times the going price for a house or a plot of land,” according to historian Gil Troy — to get elected to the House of Burgesses, the representative assembly in colonial Virginia. Part of the money, Troy reports, went to the poll watcher recording the votes. As one of Washington’s successors, Andrew Jackson, declared “Money is power.”

Jackson did not think that was a good thing. In vetoing a bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States, he asked rhetorically “whether the people of the United States are to govern … or whether the power and money of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions.” Old Hickory would no doubt be apoplectic if he were alive in today’s political climate.

Teddy Roosevelt called for “prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party” back in 1906, but we know how that turned out. In a landmark decision in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment free speech rights — including the right to contribute to political candidates or causes — applied to corporations and other groups as well as to individuals. As a result, not only single donors but organizations, including big hedge funds, unions, or business empires can — and, most emphatically, do — pour money into election campaigns, albeit indirectly through political action committees (PACs).

While these big contributors get a lot of attention, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org), only a tiny percentage of the population — 0.37% — has contributed more $200 or more this year. That small percentage, however, accounts for 70.4% of the money donated.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the reputation of the GOP as the party of the wealthy, more money has been given this year to Democratic than to Republican candidates; the three candidates who have raised the most money are Democrats, as are 18 of the top 20.

Click here for senators and representatives raising the most money for 2018.

To identify the members of Congress raising the most money, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total money raised by U.S. congressmen, congresswomen, and senators between Nov. 9, 2016 (the day after election day and start of the campaign season) and Oct. 15 (the most recent Federal Election Commission filing deadline). We only considered incumbent candidates. Congressmen and congresswomen running for Senate seats were included. All data was obtained from the FEC.

50. Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $4,843,493
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,739,154
> Seat sought: Senate (Rhode Island)

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49. Republican Rep. Kevin Brady
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $4,899,672
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,302,320
> Seat sought: House (Texas)

48. Republican Rep. Brian Mast
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $4,927,666
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,445,667
> Seat sought: House (Florida)

47. Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $4,954,357
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,195,260
> Seat sought: Senate (North Dakota)

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46. Republican Rep. Gregory P. Walden
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $4,963,165
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,755,746
> Seat sought: House (Oregon)

45. Democratic Rep. S. Raja Krishnamoorthi
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,032,475
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,931,919
> Seat sought: House (Illinois)

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44. Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,099,705
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,032,412
> Seat sought: House (Virginia)

43. Republican Rep. Cathy Mcmorris Rodgers
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,107,583
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $799,658
> Seat sought: House (Washington)

42. Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,183,358
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,332,114
> Seat sought: House (Minnesota)

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41. Republican Sen. John A. Barrasso
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,466,453
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,547,742
> Seat sought: Senate (Wyoming)

40. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,699,186
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,571,420
> Seat sought: House (California)

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39. Republican Sen. Roger F. Wicker
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,849,910
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $3,202,381
> Seat sought: Senate (Mississippi)

38. Republican Rep. Peter Roskam
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,866,627
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,858,260
> Seat sought: House (Illinois)

37. Democratic Sen. Martin Trevor Heinrich
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $5,894,720
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,367,277
> Seat sought: Senate (New Mexico)

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36. Republican Rep. Lou Barletta
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $6,170,015
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,280,637
> Seat sought: Senate (Pennsylvania)

35. Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $6,326,126
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,059,282
> Seat sought: House (New Jersey)

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34. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,024,634
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,900,934
> Seat sought: Senate (Minnesota)

33. Republican Rep. James B. Renacci
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,351,671
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,360,306
> Seat sought: Senate (Ohio)

32. Democratic Sen. Tina Smith
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,411,230
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,902,475
> Seat sought: Senate (Minnesota)

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31. Republican Rep. Kevin Mccarthy
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,469,855
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $3,961,716
> Seat sought: House (California)

30. Republican Rep. Steve Scalise
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,615,498
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,670,763
> Seat sought: House (Louisiana)

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29. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $7,791,325
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,200,531
> Seat sought: Senate (West Virginia)

28. Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,202,915
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $397,604
> Seat sought: House (Montana)

27. Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,232,094
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,579,489
> Seat sought: Senate (New Jersey)

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26. Republican Rep. Karen Handel
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,261,411
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $978,694
> Seat sought: House (Georgia)

25. Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,616,007
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $880,536
> Seat sought: House (Pennsylvania)

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24. Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,898,936
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $8,811,936
> Seat sought: Senate (Vermont)

23. Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $8,911,320
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,815,829
> Seat sought: Senate (Washington)

22. Republican Sen. Dean Heller
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $10,502,061
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,724,176
> Seat sought: Senate (Nevada)

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21. Republican Rep. Devin Gerald Nunes
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $10,583,761
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,124,715
> Seat sought: House (California)

20. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $11,568,094
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,001,725
> Seat sought: House (Tennessee)

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19. Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Murphy
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $11,903,345
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $7,277,322
> Seat sought: Senate (Connecticut)

18. Democratic Sen. Joseph S. Donnelly
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $11,956,282
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,539,364
> Seat sought: Senate (Indiana)

17. Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $12,551,544
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $3,034,910
> Seat sought: Senate (Michigan)

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16. Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $12,774,453
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $3,155,949
> Seat sought: Senate (North Dakota)

15. Democratic Sen. Jon Tester
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $15,594,644
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $1,835,126
> Seat sought: Senate (Montana)

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14. Democratic Sen. Timothy Michael Kaine
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $15,620,142
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,011,275
> Seat sought: Senate (Virginia)

13. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $15,994,654
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $4,069,222
> Seat sought: Senate (California)

12. Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $16,003,275
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,108,612
> Seat sought: Senate (Arizona)

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11. Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $16,471,308
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,630,033
> Seat sought: Senate (Nevada)

10. Democratic Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr.
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $16,855,154
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $6,701,572
> Seat sought: Senate (Pennsylvania)

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9. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $17,158,136
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $10,735,796
> Seat sought: Senate (New York)

8. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $20,942,247
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $8,199,749
> Seat sought: Senate (Ohio)

7. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $23,491,626
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $8,365,252
> Seat sought: Senate (Florida)

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6. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $24,186,719
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $15,016,383
> Seat sought: Senate (Massachusetts)

5. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $24,206,538
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $5,011,479
> Seat sought: Senate (Wisconsin)

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4. Republican Sen. Rafael Edward Ted Cruz
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $24,812,439
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $11,262,609
> Seat sought: Senate (Texas)

3. Democratic Sen. Doug Jones
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $25,083,352
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $2,167,365
> Seat sought: Senate (Alabama)

2. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $28,629,509
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $3,196,488
> Seat sought: Senate (Missouri)

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1. Democratic Rep. Robert Beto O’Rourke
> Total raised Nov 9. – Oct. 15: $61,783,371
> Cash on hand as of Oct. 15: $22,902,188
> Seat sought: Senate (Texas)

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