Which Democratic Senate candidates should I donate to?
September 27, 2012 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I would like to help some Democratic candidates get elected to US Senate. Where will my money make the most difference?

Obama's chances are looking good for November, so I think I'm ready to switch gears and donate to some Senate campaigns. Where will my money make the most difference? To which campaigns should I donate? Feel free to name a few candidates, in priority order -- I can probably make a few donations between now and November.
posted by Afroblanco to Law & Government (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Graph: "The relative amount that a $2,500 contribution to the senate candidate would increase the Democratic Party's chances of winning the seat."


From 538.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:19 AM on September 27, 2012 [9 favorites]

(That being said: I'd give it to Elizabeth Warren, who they have at 65% likely to win, but that's not a huge margin.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:20 AM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]

Ooh! Connecticut, please! I don't have time to find links right now because I'm working but Chris Murphy is the candidate who needs money and he's running against Linda McMahon who has ALL THE MONEY and scares me seriously needs to be defeated.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 10:29 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Tammy Baldwin! She's turned the tide in her race against former WI Governor Tommy Thompson, who led until last week, but needs to maintain momentum. Here's a recent 538 discussion of her race. Wisconsin ranks 5th on the bang-for-the-buck chart RJ Reynolds noted above.
posted by carmicha at 10:35 AM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]

I think there are two ways to look at it - where will your money go farthest on a "most votes for your buck" scale (and I think RJ Reynolds has it there) but also "who will do the most good in the Senate? Of the list on the 538 map, I think Martin Heinrich is your best bet for the second metric - he's young, very progressive and charismatic. He could be a great progressive champion in the Senate.
posted by lunasol at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wisconsin, please! Tammy Baldwin is my Rep. and I adore her. In addition to being a strong progressive candidate, she's also an incredibly kind and gracious woman on the personal level. She was down a lot for a while after Tommy Thompson won the primary, but she's come back strong and now has a decent chance. She's getting hammered by Crossroads, so she needs all the money she can get.
posted by SugarAndSass at 10:38 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

INDIANA: Mourdock is craven scum who drove out one of the few remaining sane Republicans.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:43 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you're not sure where to best allocate your funds you could make a donation to Majority PAC, the super PAC supporting Democratic Senate candidates, or to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
posted by alms at 10:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Elizabeth Warren. Brown has been a disgrace to Kennedy's legacy.
posted by Currer Belfry at 10:52 AM on September 27, 2012

Seconding Tammy Baldwin AND Elizabeth Warren, but if you’re interested in a House seat, the race between “Shut that rape baby down” Rep Akin and Claire McCaskill is VERY close.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:01 AM on September 27, 2012

Best answer: I found these graphs on fivethirtyeight helpful when determining the same thing for the House.

I cross-referenced with Emily's List to make sure I was giving to a candidate who shared my values.
posted by valeries at 11:04 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

The McCaskill / Akin race is for the Senate, not the House. It's very close at the moment. So - I would definitely consider that one. I think I am going to go donate to it since my local Senate race is not going to be a close call.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:14 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

At the local level. Donate to Democratic schoolboard and municipal/county campaigns, and get involved in knocking on doors and organizing events. The Democrats need to do much better building from the grass-roots up - by creating a viable campaign for your local politician, you're also campaigning for candidates up-ticket.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:16 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)
posted by candyland at 11:18 AM on September 27, 2012

Came to say McCaskill / Akin over Warren just because while I like Warren more than McCaskill, Akin is FAR worse than Brown. Both the races are neck-and-neck.
posted by General Malaise at 11:27 AM on September 27, 2012

I'm going to second the DSCC. They will have the experience to be able to funnel your money expertly into races that need it the most and have the best chance to make a difference.
posted by inturnaround at 11:47 AM on September 27, 2012

Best answer: Senate campaigns have thousands of donors. You might be better off following slap*happy's suggestion and donating to cash-starved state legislative campaigns. (Not sure what state you are in.) Democrats have a checkered history with downticket candidates in many states.

If your heart is set on Senate candidates, keep reading.

The cost of an ad flight in Florida is exponentially more expensive than it is in North Dakota. This brings you to the question: do you want to have a larger proportional impact on a cheap seat, or help out an expensive seat? The easiest way for you is to just donate to the DSCC. They do nothing else except decide allocation of their resources.

Check out this indispensable cost-benefit analysis per race and district that includes media market costs.

What, precisely, are your priorities as a Democrat?

posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:36 PM on September 27, 2012

Daily Kos has an upgrade the Senate campaign that includes many of the people already mentioned, adding Sherrod Brown and Martin Heinrich.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:31 PM on September 27, 2012

Thanks, afroblanco, for asking this question. Got me off my keister to access my wallet.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2012

Allow me to make a case for the House race in Minnesota's 6th District.

I'm sure you've heard of Michele Bachmann. Hateful, nasty person who, along with Sarah Palin, has basically become the spokeswoman for the tea party. Even though she's insane, her national prominence has ensured shitloads of campaign contributions from tea partiers all over the country. Her opponent Jim Graves, a hotel magnate, is personally wealthy but has failed to raise much at all due to lack of name recognition. Despite this, the race is close.

If you want to help get the batshitfuckingcrazy out of government, please consider supporting Jim Graves!
posted by triggerfinger at 6:19 PM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you all! Glad I asked this question. As much as I'd like to micro-manage this, I think it would be wisest to trust the people whose job it is to figure these things out. Just paid a visit to the DSCC and dropped them a Benjamin. Probably won't be the last.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:41 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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