9 of 10 Senate Incumbents With Most Out-of-State Donors Are Dems

McCaskill tops list with nearly $25 million brought in from out-of-state

Sen. Claire McCaskill / Getty Images
November 5, 2018

Democrats have had to rely on out-of-state money to prop up vulnerable Senate candidates.

Nine of the top recipients of out-of-state campaign contributions in the midterm Senate elections are Democrats, according to data pulled from the Center for Responsive Politics. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) heads the list, cashing nearly $25 million in out-of-state money in her reelection bid against Republican attorney general Josh Hawley. Those funds account for roughly 67 percent of her total contributions for the upcoming election.

The Hawley campaign said the Democrat's reliance on out-of-state fundraisers demonstrates the disconnect between McCaskill and her constituents. Hawley has made his advocacy for his home state a centerpiece of his campaign, while hammering the incumbent's fundraising efforts as "what she cares about most."

"Of course Claire McCaskill is setting new records for out-of-state money," Hawley told the Washington Free Beacon. "She sold out Missouri a long time ago. She opposes President Trump reflexively, backs legislation for open borders, and votes against conservative judges while taking more money from lawyers and lobbyists than anyone in Congress."

McCaskill did not respond to request for comment.

McCaskill is not the only red state Senate candidate relying on donations from liberal activists on the coasts. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) has received more than $20 million in her quest for a second term in the Senate. Out-of-state donations represent nearly 96 percent of all the money she has taken in during her reelection bid. Heitkamp, who did not return request for comment, has the highest rate of contributions from outside of her constituency.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota's only at-large congressman in the House of Representatives, said he was "not surprised" to see his opponent looking for support beyond state borders.

"Her campaign took more money from Goldman Sachs employees than North Dakotans in one quarter," the Cramer campaign said in an email. "Her East Coast and Hollywood liberal friends know she will be a reliable vote for their extreme agenda, so they are pouring millions into her campaign to help her win."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is the lone incumbent Republican on the top-10 list, having received about $8 million from out-of-state donors—about 41 percent of his total contributions. His haul pales in comparison to that of his opponent, Democratic representative Beto O'Rourke, who received $20.65 million out of state. Senate incumbents who round out the list include Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.), and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), each of whom received between $9.9 and $13 million from contributors in other states. Their campaigns did not return requests for comment.