Which Candidates Benefit Most from Small Donors?

With the Democrats starting to push onto the agenda the package of political reforms titled the “For the People Act,” more attention is going to start getting focused on the provisions for campaign-finance reform. Those provisions involve a 6:1 small-donor matching program — for every $1 in small donations a candidate raises, $6 of federal matching funds would be provided, up to a certain amount.

I have written several pieces that look at the evidence regarding whether small donors tend to fuel the ideological extremes of the parties (see here, here, and here). For one initial perspective on that issue, here is a list from the Open Secrets website of those members of Congress elected in 2018 who raised more than 50% of their funds from small donors (the data for 2020 is not yet available).

 Member of CongressTotal from Small DonorsPercent from Small Donors
1Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D)$14,773,24778.18%
2Matt Gaetz (R)$3,870,74065.09%
3Jim Jordan (R)$11,263,11364.21%
4Adam Schiff (D)$11,427,34758.96%
5Ilhan Omar (D)$3,301,63857.74%
6Nancy Pelosi (D)$15,471,50356.55%
7Devin Nunes (R)$14,122,07852.64%
8Katie Porter (D)$8,647,55952.01%
9Dan Crenshaw (R)$9,714,42250.00%

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