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Where Are Senate Candidates Getting Campaign Funds? Where Are Senate Candidates Getting Campaign Funds?

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Blogs / Influence

Where Are Senate Candidates Getting Campaign Funds?

November 6, 2012
Just over half of the contributions to U.S. Senate candidates competing in today's election came from outside their states, according to a new report. 

Fifty-one percent of contributions in the 2012 cycle were from outside candidates' states, according to a study by the nonpartisan research organization MapLight. That falls roughly in line with the last two cycles, which the report also analyzed. In 2010, 45 percent of contributions were out-of-state while in 2008 60 percent were, according to the report. 

"Senators are crisscrossing their states saying they work for voters, but more than half of their money comes from out-of-state donors," said MapLight's Daniel G. Newman in a statement. "If money is equal to free speech, the rest of the country has a bigger say in selecting your senator than you do."

MapLight looked at contributions to 180 Senate candidates, including incumbents and their opponents, in the 2012 cycle (through June 30), 2010 and 2008. Candidates raised $935 million over that time period, with $478 million coming from out-of-state, MapLight found.

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch had the highest percentage of contributions coming from outside his state at 95 percent, according to MapLight. Other candidates at the top of the list included Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. (93 percent), Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del. (90 percent), Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (89 percent) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. (85 percent). 


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