Democrats Start Raising, Spending in Earnest

July 28, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

President Obama and the Democrats are both kicking their midterm election efforts into a higher gear today. The President held a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee last night in DC, is hosting two more DNC events today in New York City, and will host four more events around the country next week. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it’s upping the number of seats it plans to lavish money on this fall — it’s now committed to spending more than $49 million on advertising for 60 races.

Guests at Obama’s DNC events in New York City today will be asked to give the legal maximum of $30,400 to attend. Both events are sold out, but The Wall Street Journal nonetheless argues that antipathy towards Democrats on Wall Street will limit the amount of events Obama will be able to throw in the Big Apple:

Measured in a variety of ways, Wall Street giving to Democrats is down. Overall, five of the top 10 sources of donations to the DNC in 2008 were Wall Street firms, according to an analysis of campaign donations by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. This election season, just one financial company—the investment-management firm Capital Group Cos.—ranks in the top 10.

Employees of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. donated a total of $1.1 million to the DNC in 2008, making Goldman the biggest source of campaign cash to the Democratic Party. Goldman employees have donated about $100,000 to the DNC so far in the 2010 congressional elections, according to the center’s data.

The “Wall Street is angry with Obama and the Democrats” meme is popular and not without a kernel of truth. Fundraising numbers, however, don’t actually seem to bear this out, at least when compared against the amount of money Wall Street is giving to Republicans. In the same article, the Journal admits as much:

While Wall Street giving is down, Democrats are still outpacing Republicans. Overall, Wall Street has given $4.26 million to the DNC in the current cycle. Financial executives have donated just $870,000 to the Republican National Committee so far, less than 1% of the total raised.