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Political fundraising is taking a huge hit in the age of coronavirus.

2020/2022

Analysis: COVID-19 has crippled political fundraising

Is this phenomenon a one-time anomaly or have donors’ political priorities and donation goals shifted forever?

A new analysis shows what most in The Process already figured, political contributions are significantly down in the age of coronavirus.

Contribution Link, a political data, analytics, and intelligence firm, analyzed data from past election cycles and compared fundraising pre-COVID-19 to this election cycle.

The analysis found contributions to House and Senate candidates and political committees are down $18.5 million this year, a stunning 65% plummet.

Contribution Link used a ten-week target window in the weeks immediately following Legislative Sessions in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 and compared them to the same target window this year.

The data also found Senate candidates saw a 65% reduction in contributions while House candidates dropped just 37%. Republicans were hit harder, dropping 74% compared to a 64% drop for Democrats. PACs went from an average of $20.7 million in contributions to just $7.7 million, a 63% decrease.

For many, the analysis only confirms what was already expected. Coronavirus precautions forced most to stay home and part of the ten-week target window happened during a statewide stay-at-home order. That left candidates unable to host traditional fundraising events.

Further, making the ask while so many Floridians were out of work seemed an unsavory act, leading most candidates almost entirely halting fundraising activity.

The lingering question is what that can only be answered with time. Is this phenomenon a one-time anomaly or have donors’ political priorities and donation goals shifted forever?

Those answers may begin to emerge in 2022, likely long after the coronavirus crisis has abated, and recovery is well underway. But that’s a complicated year unto itself. Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Cabinet will all be up for reelection. All U.S. House of Representatives seats will be on the ballot, Sen. Marco Rubio will be up for reelection and state House and Senate candidates will face races in newly redistricted maps.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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