Senator Wyden, Oregon Democrat and Senate Finance Committee chairman, and Senate Crapo, Idaho Democrat and Senate Finance Committee chairman, campaign responses from the finance industry, obtained from opensecrets.org. Contribution data shows higher support from the securities and investment industry and commercial banks, financial and credit companies for Crapo.
Senators Wyden and Crapo are a good place to compare their contributions and use as a case study of industry support for Democrats and Republicans. Donations to the pair should yield more insight into industry support for their respective parties than any other pair in the Senate.
Both are incumbent senators, so both would benefit from incumbent funding advantages. Both are seeking re-election this year, so donors who donated late in the election cycle are included in both candidates. Both hold seats that are considered electorally safe, so donors are unlikely to show interest in close elections. They are also the highest-ranking members of their respective parties’ Senate Finance Committees Therefore, neither received a seniority bonus.
And they represent a state not known in the financial industry. So many of our financial industry donors are from other states.
According to research by Brandice Canes-Wrone, a professor of political science at Princeton University, and Kenneth Miller, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, candidates who rely on out-of-state donors are more likely to be affected by the voters they represent. The opinion of the country’s donor base, as opposed to the opinion. Safer seats, such as those occupied by Senators Wyden and Crapo, tend to be more responsive to voters nationwide. Since finance is a national industry, concentrated in states such as New York not represented by Wieden and Crapo, the impact of the national donor base on financial problems should be particularly acute for both.
But why donate to the candidate sitting in the safe seat? If they win anyway, why not save the money? Procurement is expected and candidates can remit unlimited amounts to national and state party committees. Researchers have therefore discovered that donations can still be used to do them favors, as they can still increase their prestige and influence within the party.
Anthony Fowler, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, has found that companies typically don’t make enough money from picking favorable candidates, at least not enough to justify a donation. However, donors are more likely to meet with members of Congress than regular voters, and giving is a way to get members’ attention, access, and develop a personal relationship with them and their staff.Wyden and Crapo are both senior members of the committee and are likely to serve until retirement, so getting their attention through donations could be a worthwhile business investment.
With that in mind, what kind of support are the two senators getting from the financial industry?
Contribution data collected from opensecrets.org can be used to explore contributions from industries of interest, contributions from individuals, and contributions from Political Action Committees (PACs).
Individual contributions are limited to $2,900 per candidate per election. This means that donors can contribute the maximum amount during the primary and general elections, totaling $5,800 over the entire election cycle. In this case, a PAC is an organization created by a company (union PACs are not included in this dataset) and can be funded by employees of that company. Including both individual and PAC donations gives us a broader view of her support of Wyden and Crapo within the industry.
Data show that Crapo received more contributions from the commercial banking sector than Wieden, with $64,342 from individuals working in that industry and $210,000 from PACs created by companies in that industry. Wyden’s contributions from commercial banks were $19,395 from individuals and $19,750 from PAC for a total of $39,145, and Crapo’s total was his $274,342.
Crapo also received from more financial and credit companies than Wyden. Crapo received $37,850 and $121,700 from individuals and PAC, respectively, for a total of $159,550. Wyden received a total of $31,173, with $11,673 and $19,500 paid by individuals and PAC respectively.
One of the sources of confusion related to these two industries is that Crapo is a member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and Wyden is not. However, in 2022, both commercial banks and financial and credit companies generally donated more to Republicans.
Wieden received more money than Crapo from donors categorized in the securities and investment industry and other financial industries. He also received more from retired donors than Crapo.
Crapo received $748,754 from securities investors and funders, while Wyden received $1,105,310. Donors in the other financial category contributed a total of $194,119 to Crapo and $311,714 to Wyden. Retired donors donated $106,692 to Crapo and $1,185,095 to Wyden.
Retirees make up the industry, but because members of that group use financial instruments, their contribution is included in this analysis. The Senate Finance Committee has been involved in the issue of retirement policy reform, and earlier this year he passed the EARN Act as part of a broader series of reform bills called “SECURE 2.0.” Industry insiders believe the reform should be passed by Congress now and has the support of both senators.
Following previous patterns, other funders gave more money to Democrats in 2022, as did the securities and investment industry. Meanwhile, retirees gave more to Republicans ($316.7 million) than to Democrats ($289 million).