Midterm Issues: Part VI – “Follow the Money”

Money, unlike jobs or healthcare, may not seem like a campaign issue, but if you are a federal candidate in New Jersey and you have little of it it’s a BIG issue. Campaigning here is expensive. Candidates like Tom MacArthur and Bob Hugin have great personal wealth, and both Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer has amassed over $5 Million in fundraising.

Open Secrets reports that the cost of national elections so far surpasses $3.9 Billion.  POLITICO indicates that ninety-two Democratic challengers outraised GOP House incumbents in the third quarter, while 33 Republicans trail in cash on hand. All good news. Matt Friedman writes today that in all five GOP-held districts, Democrats aren’t just out-raising Republicans – including the three incumbents running for re-election. They’re crushing them.

Total itemized contributions so far to all NJ candidates, including PAC contributions to candidates, are $47.7 Million, with 63.6% to Democrats and 33.5% to Republicans. NJ ranks # 14 in total itemized contributions. The actual total including contributions to candidates, PACs, outside spending groups (including super PACs which spend their own funds) and party committees is $61,313,829, where we rank #12. 

Although there are only 20 days until Election Day, we can anticipate a lot more money to be spent because candidates make a major push the last two weeks, some are still flush with cash, and some will receive more monies and/or direct spending from PAC’s. For example, as seen below, so far in the Senate race incumbent Bob Menendez (D) has spent $6,781,569 and challenger Bob Hugin (R) has spent $22,710,231. Menendez now has more cash on hand $5,579,489 vs. $3,520,676, but presumably Hugin can loan himself more if he wants to. In the full 2012 cycle Menendez received $17.3 million and his challenger $4.6 million, but don’t be surprised if more funds come flying in before the race is over. 

According to the Center for Responsive Politics which publishes Open Secrets, below is the financial data as reported to the FEC for total itemized contributions so far including PAC contributions to candidates, but not independent funding. 


Candidate Raised Spent Cash on Hand Last Report
Robert Menendez (D)Incumbent $10,934,162 $6,781,569 $5,579,489 09/30/2018
Bob Hugin (R) $26,230,906 $22,710,231 $3,520,676 09/30/2018
Murray Sabrin (L) $18,881 $7,325 $11,555 06/30/2018
Tricia Flanagan (I) $8,529 $7,967 $562 06/30/2018



CD 2 


CD 3

Candidate Raised Spent Cash on Hand Last Report
Thomas MacArthur (R)Incumbent $3,648,347 $2,737,516 $918,162 09/30/2018
Andy Kim (D) $4,400,393 $3,317,232 $1,083,162 09/30/2018


CD 4 


CD 5 


CD 7 

Candidate Raised Spent Cash on Hand Last Report
Leonard Lance (R)Incumbent $2,093,563 $1,221,344 $1,032,461 09/30/2018
Tom Malinowski (D) $4,561,772 $3,652,555 $909,216 09/30/2018


CD 11


The above financial information, and more, for all 12 district and Senate races in NJ is here. No challenger has reported raising money against Barbara Watson Coleman (D CD 12), Donald Payne (D CD 10), or Bill Pascrell (D CD 9) – a sign of how particularly unassailable Republicans view these districts. 

You can read other parts in this midterm issues series by clicking on the appropriate front-page slider or entering in the SEARCH box on the front page 2018 midterm issues   Prior issues are SALT (Part I), Healthcare (Part II), Climate Change (Part III), The Trump Factor (Part IV), and Immigration (Part V).


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