Donors Look to Protect Interests in 2019 Election

Jul 22, 2019

New campaign finance disclosures are revealing the contours of Election 2019.

Republicans and Democrats each have their own source of big money this year according to campaign finance numbers posted to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Credit NPR

Business interests like Big Pharma and high-interest lenders are donating top dollar contributions to Republican incumbents on committees that oversee regulation of their industries.

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says businesses are rightly concerned about the bottom line.   “For business interests to be a bit concerned about the prospect of Republicans being in the minority in 2019 and what that might mean for their interests, why that’s a very careful calculation on their part.”

Special interests are throwing money at Democrats, especially a group known as Let America Vote, which is supporting Democrats in marginal seats who just barely won against Republican incumbents last time.

Jeremy Mayer at George Mason University says these Democrats are going to need help to stay in office.  “These new Democrats who swept into office in 2017, some of them didn’t win by very much at all," Mayer notes.  "And if the Republicans can get a good group together while the Democrats are reeling and dealing with their problems it’ll be a very good year for Republicans.”

If Republicans can knock off two or three of those Democratic incumbents who narrowly won last time, they can end up losing a couple of incumbents and still retain control of the House of Delegates.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.