From Sheila Krumholz <[email protected]>
Subject OpenSecrets: The Golden Rule of Primaries (May 17th)
Date May 17, 2022 2:00 PM
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join OpenSecrets in following the money that influences the most well-funded and hotly-contested races across the country.  

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Dear Reader, the OpenSecrets community is filled with politically-savvy individuals who are deeply concerned about money’s influence in politics. If you decide to support OpenSecrets during our new donor drive, we want to share with you what we regularly do to keep our donors up to date on the latest money in politics news.
As another round of high-profile primaries begin across the country today, OpenSecrets returns with a roundup of important races that are attracting serious campaign cash.

Remember the OpenSecrets golden rule of primaries; have more “gold” than your competition to better your chances of winning.
As a major showdown takes place in the Senate GOP primary, OpenSecrets researchers have identified the three highest-spending super PACs ([link removed]) seeking to influence the outcome of the election. Our analysis of their spending reveals a $20M political ad blitz targeting Pennsylvanians in recent weeks.

A group of out-of-state hedge fund billionaires ([link removed]) , including CEO of Citadel, Kenneth Griffin, are funding the pro-McCormick super PAC, Honor Pennsylvania. The group has so far spent over $15.5M in attack ads ([link removed]) against Dr. Oz, and another $3.3M supporting McCormick. Oz-aligned super PAC, American Leadership Action ([link removed]) , has spent $4M in political ads against the celebrity heart-surgeon’s competitors.

In contrast, late-surging challenger Kathy Barnette has raised just a fraction of her cash-flush competition. Despite this, her rapid rise in the polls secured the endorsement of the Club for Growth PAC ([link removed]) , which spent $2M this last week on television ads to aid her final push before polls close.

Click the buttons to view fundraising overviews of Pennsylvania’s federal and state elections.
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North Carolina
Another Senate GOP primary has attracted nearly $24M in funding, with the stage set for Trump-endorsed candidate, Rep. Ted Budd, to square off against former N.C. Governor, Pat McCrory. As one of 14 GOP candidates running in the primary, Budd enjoys a sizable lead based on recent polls.

OpenSecrets recently reported on the state’s redistricting shuffle ([link removed]) that has left some candidates campaigning in different districts than they previously represented. State redistricting processes are quickly becoming a target for dark money spending ([link removed]) .

And despite escalating controversies within his own party, freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorne ([link removed]) , has raised the most of any GOP candidate. He faces a difficult battle for N.C.’s 11th District, as some members of his party now back his competition.

Click the buttons to view fundraising overviews of North Carolina’s federal and state elections.
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Citing OpenSecrets data, NPR released a story last week on a red-hot Democratic primary taking place in Oregon’s newly created 6th District ([link removed]) . Candidates have so far spent over $18M on the race, with $13.2M of that spent by outside groups, making this one of the most expensive Democratic primaries thus far.

And the spending from outside groups is anything but equal ([link removed]) . Political unknown, Carrick Flynn, sparked controversy when his aligned super PAC, Protect our Future, received over $10M from cryptocurrency billionaire, Sam Bankman-Fried.

With cryptocurrency a relatively unknown player in campaign finance, OpenSecrets has analyzed the industry’s recent lobbying efforts ([link removed]) . For the first time, crypto donations could substantially contribute to candidates' fundraising efforts, and today's outcome will determine whether the massive injection of crypto helped Flynn’s chances.

Click the buttons to view fundraising overviews of Oregon’s federal and state elections.
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More major races still to come in May, including Georgia’s primary, which is perhaps the most closely watched race of the cycle, as well as Texas’ runoff elections on the 24th. Later in the month, we'll bring you insights about the biggest primary donors and spenders shaping these races in the next installment of The Golden Rule of Primaries.

Thanks for staying engaged and informed by the facts,

Sheila Krumholz
Executive Director

P.S. You can discover more about the money funding your state’s primaries by using our Congressional Races Tool ([link removed]) for federal races, and the Elections Overview Tool ([link removed]) for state-level primaries.
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