2018 Election Poised for Record-breaking $5.2 Billion in Spending, CULAC Remains Evenly Bi-partisan While Securities & Investment Industry Favors Dems and Bankers GOP

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) projects that more than $5.2 billion will be spent this election cycle, making it the most expensive midterm election by a wide margin. The overall estimated cost would represent a 35 percent increase over the 2014 cycle in nominal dollars, the largest increase in at least two decades.

image005And, as current polling hints that Democrats are poised to win control of the U.S. House, some of the financial services sector is giving more money to Democrats.

Democrats only need 23 seats to overtake the majority. Pollsters are suggesting they could win as many as 43 seats.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the securities and investment industries have given $56.8 million to Democratic congressional candidates and $33.4 million to Republicans this election cycle, according to data from the CRP available at opensecrets.org. The industry, which includes individuals as well as corporations and political action committees from private equity firms, asset managers and other investment companies, has financially backed Democrats over Republicans 52 percent to 46 percent, the data show.

While bankers continue to prefer Republicans, they’re being generous to Democrats, too. The industry has spent $8.5 million supporting Democrats and $13.5 million backing Republicans, according to the CRP.

CUNA and the state leagues have invested nearly $7 million in over 380 pro-credit union candidates across the nation, essentially evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. This support included not only direct contributions to candidate campaign committees by CULAC, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, but also direct voter engagement via mailers, and television, radio and online ads in targeted districts.

CULAC, has provided a total of $76,000 to 11 general election candidates in New Jersey, one U.S. Senate campaign and 10 campaigns for U.S. House seats including the two open seats. The following campaigns have received CULAC support during the 2016-18 election cycle:

Donald Norcross for Congress Committee
Gottheimer for Congress
Lance for Congress
Tom MacArthur for Congress, Inc.
Menendez for Senate
Pallone for Congress
Pascrell for Congress
Don Payne for Congress
Mikie Sherrill for Congress
Van Drew for Congress
Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress

While the NJ Credit Union League has never formally endorsed political candidates, CULAC support is an indication that a candidate is supportive of credit unions and their issues. The League also publishes a Lawmaker Scorecard where credit union voters can check how incumbents have voted on key credit union issues over the years. 

CUNA has also launched a Web site highlighting each of the candidates supported by CUNA, the state leagues and credit unions in the 2018 mid-terms. Visitors to CUNA’s 2018 Elections Web page can click on a state to see credit union-supported candidates, with candidates supported by independent expenditures and partisan communications highlighted.