Outsiders Are Funding ‘Local’ Races For House Candidates

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

Donors from outside the districts of their respective 2018 candidates for the House of Representatives have supplied over two-thirds of financial contributions for their races.

Of the total number of contributions given to 2018 House candidates, 69 percent of those 866,000 contributions came from donors outside of the candidates’ districts, though most do come from within their states, according to Federal Election Commission data. The total amount of money given to House candidates thus far has reached $509 million, and 73 percent of that has come from outside donors. (RELATED: Republicans Could Lose Up To 56 House Seats If Elections Were Held Today)

FEC data indicates that candidates, especially Democrats, are raising slightly more money outside of their districts than Republican candidates, in an effort to expand their brand beyond their districts and gain control of the House with what they believe is an impending “blue wave.”

“Candidates have to build a brand that transcends their district if they want to run a competitive campaign and thwart outside groups’ spending against them,” said Alexi McCammond of Axios.

Interestingly, while Democrats have a slight lead in the drive to raise funds outside of their districts, both the most locally funded and least locally funded candidates are Republican according to Axios. The least locally funded candidate, House Speaker Paul Ryan, is not, however, running for reelection. Of the contributions Ryan has received, 99.5 percent came from outside of his district.

By contrast, South Dakota’s Dusty Johnson received only 7 percent of his contributions from donors outside of his district.

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