Whose campaign for the senate should I donate to?
August 7, 2020 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to send money to a Democrat running for senate in 2020 against a Republican incumbent where 1) the Democrat has a chance of winning and 2) their having more money might make the difference. Can anyone suggest a candidate and write a few words saying why they would be a good choice? Also, does anyone have any wisdom about the timing of such a donation -- i.e. is it better to choose and/or give now or closer to election day or when?
posted by bertran to Law & Government (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like you might be interested in The Great Slate. The ActBlue donation page has a paragraph on each candidate, and you can get more detail over here.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 5:11 PM on August 7, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you want to actually have the maximum impact: send money to the DSCC or ActBlue and let them worry about it. Both of them have professional staff with gobs of data.

Now is better than later; if they want to save it for later they will.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:16 PM on August 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

Cal Cunningham in North Carolina.

He's a good guy, a veteran and a lawyer, supports progressive policies and also understands the needs of a purple state. I think he will listen to experts and his constituents rather than special interests, and NC is overdue to send a Dem back to the Senate.
posted by Schielisque at 5:50 PM on August 7, 2020 [6 favorites]

Check out SwingLeft. They are laser-focused on this right now. From the front page of their website:

We can win the Senate by flipping just four seats, so we’re targeting the most competitive races where Democrats have the best chances, and where our dollars will have the biggest impact.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:55 PM on August 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

The Cook Political Report is a well-regarded source for ratings of senate race probabilities.

They currently identify the following R-held seats as toss-ups for 2020:
posted by kickingtheground at 6:52 PM on August 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've been rather closely (obsessively?) watching the polls this year, since January. Here are my opinions:


Maine: Gideon has a narrow lead over Collins. Money will go a little farther in a low-cost state.

Montana: Neck and neck. Bullock could pull out a win. Another low-cost state where money will go farther.

Iowa: Greenfield has a narrow lead over Ernst.

South Carolina: Harrison trails narrowly, may have a chance to defeat Lindsey Graham.


North Carolina: Cunningham is starting to pull out a decent lead. Maybe he could still use the money? It's a somewhat more expensive state.

Georgia: Ossoff is running consistently a couple of points behind Perdue, but hasn't shown signs of taking the lead yet. Still in the running.

Georgia/Special: Who the heck knows what's happening in this one? Warnock might fit your bill, note that he'll have to be in the top two on Nov 3 to advance to the near-certain Jan 5 2021 runoff, but he'd still probably be an underdog at that point.

Kansas: Bollier is starting to run a little better than expected against Marshall, but Marshall still leads. Race should become more clear now that Kobach is out. Note that Bollier herself was a Republican until 2018; some people might factor that into their donation priorities.


Arizona: Kelly is leading by great big margins. Does he need any more help?

Colorado: Hickenlooper's leads have narrowed, he's still leading handily. Not yet a close race.

Alabama: Not impossible that Jones could win, but nobody expects it to happen. Donate if you like the guy.

Alaska: Independent Gross is running against incumbent Sullivan. May have a very outside chance of winning. Website for the Gross campaign is fairly harsh on Republicans generally and McConnell specifically, but also deals in a bit of both-sides-ism. Maybe research further before deciding to donate.

Texas: Hegar is running behind Cornyn by 10 points or so, not making up ground.

Kentucky: Polls are all over the place, but McGrath has been behind by as much as 17 behind McConnell. Okay to hate-donate just to spite Mitch if that brings some satisfaction, but I wouldn't bank on a payoff in November. McConnell has pulled off multiple close wins in his career before.

Any other race is probably a slam dunk for the incumbent candidate and/or party at this point.

Those are my opinions, but based on close observations for the last many weeks. Thank you for listening, and giving me a moment to be an armchair pundit.
posted by gimonca at 7:05 PM on August 7, 2020 [14 favorites]

Just noting that this is if you're primarily concerned with Senate races; donating to state-level campaign funds can still make substantial differences in important congressional districts and in state houses, and lots of those races have comparatively less money in them, so each dollar goes farther.
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:10 PM on August 7, 2020 [5 favorites]

I just attended an event by Grassroots Democrats HQ whose mission is to defend and flip states for the Democrats. Their guy who studies polls had a very similar breakdown as gimonca...

If you're open to donating to wider organizations and not individual candidates' campaigns, the local branches of SwingLeft and Indivisible have a lot of events going on to target close races, but not just the senate. Commit to flip blue and Flip the west seem to be now pretty focused on the senate.
posted by bread-eater at 9:18 PM on August 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I might be partial, but MONTANA. Bullock(yes) vs Daines(yuck).
posted by Grandysaur at 11:23 PM on August 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Amy McGrath in Kentucky and/or Steve Bullock in Montana. Both have suffered a recent deluge of money given to their opponents. Also remember the "down ticket" candidates. Democratic Attorneys General have been regularly suing Trump for his many wretched actions, and deserve support.
Defend the Postal Service which Trump is trying to torpedo because there are more Democrats and what if they all voted by mail? You can't make up the stuff that the Trump administration does.
posted by Cranberry at 12:59 AM on August 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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