Political Query: Who Should I Give Money To?

A question for the more politically plugged-in folks out there: If I want to donate money this election cycle, who should I be looking at giving it to?

OK, that probably needs some unpacking, but given Internet attention spans, I wanted to get the basic question right up front before a passing Pokemon draws people away...

So, the last couple of presidential elections, I donated to the Obama campaign, but it doesn't really look like Hilary Clinton desperately needs my money. And I've given to the Democratic party more generally (DSCC and DCCC) in the past, but given their track record in recent legislative elections, I'm not convinced that's money well spent-- that is, I'm not sure they're optimally allocating their resources.

So, I'd sort of like to give my regular political donation (which is of order a few hundred bucks) directly to a candidate for whom it would do some good. There are way more races out there than I can really keep track of, though, thus this appeal.

So: who's a candidate for the House or Senate either running as a Democrat or who will caucus with the Democrats who's in a race that's potentially winnable who would benefit from additional cash? Bonus points for opposing a particularly objectionable incumbent, but I don't want to just protest vote, I'd like to give money to somebody who has a chance of actually winning.

Note: I'm not committing to blindly donating money to any random candidate people name in comments here, I'm just soliciting names for possible donations. I'll check out the policy views and the status of the race for anybody whose name comes up, and if there's somebody particularly appealing, I'll throw a little money their way. I'd prefer to directly contribute to a candidate rather than some progressive umbrella group just on bang-for-buck grounds, so please don't give me sales pitches for activist organizations. And if you want to berate me for being excessively liberal, or insufficiently liberal, well, I can't really stop you from leaving a comment, but I'll mock you quietly.


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You could always give to the last physicist in congress, Bill Foster. He's a good guy and I believe he's in a tight race every cycle in a district that tends conservative.

Ann Kirkpatrick is running against John McCain, and they're neck and neck in the polls.

Also, I think it would be worth looking into Assembly races. As we've seen this year, Congress might not be getting much done, but state legislatures are busy screwing up without much consequence.

By Adam Rakunas (not verified) on 14 Jul 2016 #permalink

I'd have to agree with Adam. People pay a lot less attention to the state-level legislatures (and so a given amount of money can probably go farther) and they can be pretty consequential.

The problem with state-level stuff is that I'm mostly okay with our local representatives, and farther afield it's harder to find information because there are so damn many of them...

And Bill Foster is definitely one of the handful of names on my mental list of possible targets. Physicists gotta stick together...

Adam and Joe: That would be a good idea in many states, but according to Wikipedia the New York State Assembly has a 104-42 Democratic majority, with two minor party members (one caucuses with the Democrats and the other with the Republicans) and two vacancies. So there are better places for Chad to put his money.

There are a couple of possibilities here in New Hampshire. For Senate, current Governor Maggie Hassan is running against the useless-on-a-good-day incumbent Kelly Ayotte. But if you are looking to oust a truly odious incumbent, Carol Shea-Porter is trying to unseat Rep. Frank Guinta in NH-01. Guinta ignored calls to resign following a settlement with the Federal Election Commission involving a questionable $355,000 donation to his campaign in 2010.

However, New Hampshire does not hold its non-Presidential primary until September, so you may want to wait until then to donate, just in case.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Jul 2016 #permalink

Past and present possibilities presented here:

Barack Obama (D)
Hillary Clinton (D)
Bill Foster (D)
Ann Kirkpatrick (D)
Maggie Hassan (D)
Carol Shea-Porter (D)

They have at least one thing in common.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 14 Jul 2016 #permalink

I went down the entire list of candidates on the Emily's List site and gave $x to each senate candidate and $y to each house candidate. You can adjust x and y to suit your budget!

Note that the money goes directly to the candidate -- I'm just using Emily's List as a recommendation engine.

By Graeme WIlliams (not verified) on 14 Jul 2016 #permalink

Caution giving money to a political campaign might mean you get junk mail forever. My late father gave in 2000 and died in 2002 he is still getting mail from Donald Trump and the RNC begging for money. (I guess this must be the real graveyard vote). I have told them several times, but they never ever clean up their mailing lists. If the need a stamp I just throw the letters away, since they seem to have stopped sending business reply envelopes, otherwise I have thought of sending them a lead brick.

What process led you to believe that this few hundred dollars is best given to a political campaign, without knowing which campaign? Why not mosquito nets?

You might want to take a look at Russ Fe in gold running for Senate in Wisconsin. He lost his seat to Ron Johnson in 2010. I don't know what the numbers look like right now.

By David Owen-Cruise (not verified) on 15 Jul 2016 #permalink

Tim Canova, Florida CD 23, who is challenging DWS and hopefully will replace her in the House. Well deserved by DWS.


DSCC and DCCC is a waste of money, all donations are effective if targeted towards people that you believe will change elective politics in a meaningful way, for you and for the rest of us.

By Silvia Leahu-Aluas (not verified) on 31 Jul 2016 #permalink