Takeaways from latest campaign fundraising reports

By Sachin Hebbar and Elizabeth Brown.

A whopping 892 candidate committees, PACs, super-PACs, slates, central committees and more raced to file their campaign finance reports by the January 12th deadline. The stakes were pretty high as candidates looked to position themselves ahead of the June primary race. Here are seven interesting takeaways from this latest round of reports.

More than 600 candidates are raising money.

626 candidate committees and 161 PACs filed 2022 Annual Campaign finance reports by January 19th. As the new shapes of state legislative districts are finalized this month, expect more candidates to jump into the fray and some candidates to switch districts.

Candidates raised a total of over 52 million dollars.

Candidates in the state of Maryland raised almost 53 million dollars for their campaigns. Slate committees, party central committees, and legislative caucuses raised another 6 million dollars. Outside political interest groups reportedly raised 3.6 million dollars.

Political party state committee fundraising was down almost 50%.

Central committees run the grassroots party activity in each county in Maryland. The total raised for candidates was up almost 20%, but county party central committee fundraising was down by 48% compared to the 2018 annual campaign finance reports.

A closer look shows that Democratic Party central committee fundraising was down, but Republican Part central committee fundraising increased. Does this decrease reflect a return to normalcy after the extraordinary “blue wave” of Democratic support in 2018? Or did the pandemic put a damper on Democratic Party fundraising and engagement while Republican Party fundraisers roamed free and maskless? Digging more into the data would hopefully provide some explanations.

In the charts below, the text may not be legible, but on the left the red lines show the different county central committees’ fundraising declines from 2018 to 2022, and on the right, once can see Republican central committees had more increases during this timeperiod.

Looking at credit card transactions, Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem to be popular days for making donations. You might want to stay away from your phone on those days if you do not want to get hit with an ask!

Donations by check versus credit card can be revealing.

The campaign reports reflect the growing popularity of credit cards for making political donations of all different amounts. As one might expect, however, credit cards were used more prolifically for the lower dollar contributions of $100 or less.

Some gubernatorial candidates receive more checks while others receive more credit card donations.

Business groups and organizations donate mainly through checks. What kind of individuals are still likely to write checks? One could posit wealthier donors, since they have more money sitting in the bank.

When plotting the percentage of funds that came from checks for all of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, one sees two distinct clusters.

Wes Moore seems to be largely funding his campaign with small donations. Tom Perez seems to have a rather uniform distribution. Most of Comptroller Franchot’s contributions are $100 – $500 contributions.

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