Though the 2022 midterm elections are a year away, campaign fundraising has begun in earnest. In the first six months of 2021, congressional candidates have cumulatively raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
Fundraising is an essential part of any political campaign in the United States. Candidates for national office spend millions of dollars, some of it to pay their staff and some of it to reach voters through advertising and other means. And much of those funds are donations from corporations, political action committees, political parties, and, perhaps most importantly, individual voters.
According to a study published by the Pew Research Group, over half of all individual donations to political campaigns are less than $100, and over 80% are less than $250. This stands in contrast to PACs and other interest groups that often write checks for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Candidates who are able to fundraise effectively through relatively small donation amounts have demonstrable support among those who will likely fill voting booths on Election Day.
Using data from the Federal Election Commission, 24/7 Wall St. identified the candidates for the U.S. Congress who are raising the most money from individuals this year. U.S. House and Senate candidates for next year’s midterm elections are ranked by the amount of money contributed to their campaigns by individuals in the first half of 2021.
Among the candidates on this list, fundraising totals from individuals range from more than $1.5 million to $30.4 million. The majority of candidates on this list — 29 out of 50 — are affiliated with the Democratic Party. All but 10 candidates on this list are incumbents running for reelection, and a handful are running for national office for the first time. Here is a look at the Democrats and the Republicans who have made a career out of serving in the house.
Several candidates on this list are notable for their outspoken positions on certain issues and even publicly clashing with their party leadership — Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican Wyoming Rep. Elizabeth Cheney, to name two.