News & Analysis

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The Political One Percent of the One Percent in 2014: Mega Donors Fuel Rising Cost of Elections
April 30, 2015

In the 2014 elections, 31,976 donors – equal to roughly one percent of one percent of the total population of the United States – accounted for an astounding $1.18 billion in disclosed political contributions at the federal level. Those big givers – what we have termed the Political One Percent of the One Percent – have a massively outsized impact on federal campaigns.

They're mostly male, tend to be city-dwellers and often work in finance. Slightly more of them skew Republican than Democratic. A small subset – barely five dozen – earned the (even more) rarefied distinction of giving more than $1 million each. And a minute cluster of three individuals contributed more than $10 million apiece. [Read more][Other OpenSecrets Reports]

OpenSecrets News

Which 2020 Democrats get the most campaign cash from wealthy donors?

September 20, 2019 | Wealthy donors such as CEOs, executives and attorneys are mostly sticking with three Democratic presidential candidates.

Media Citations: Recent Stories

  • Salon

    Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?

    In total, The New York Times said that nearly $20 million has been spent at the Trump family hotels since 2015 by various, mostly Republican political groups, including Trump's own political committees, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics. Trump also has promised pardons to federal employees he is asking to manipulate federal accounts to put more money aside for construction of his wall.
  • ABC News

    Trump at private fundraiser reassures donors he’ll protect 2nd Amendment

    During the 2016 presidential election, the National Rifle Association was among the biggest supporters of Trump, spending more than $30 million on pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Clinton campaign, according to Center for Responsive Politics' analysis of campaign finance data. Trump's pledge to protect the Second Amendment was one of many promises the president made to his wealthy donors while hopping from one ritzy fundraiser to another in California this week.
  • PC Magazine

    Political Ad Spending on Snapchat Is Ramping Up Ahead of 2020

    According to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, presidential candidates in the 2020 election made up $72,591 of political ad spending on Snapchat. President Trump has spent the most on digital advertising of all 2020 candidates, devoting $26.2 million on digital ads in general and around $40,000 of that on Snapchat. Beto O'Rourke has actually spent a tad more on Snapchat ads, at $41,000, while Elizabeth Warren's campaign has spent almost $19,000. A number of Super PACs backing both conservative and progressive agendas top the list with far more ad spending, including Tom Steyer-aligned NextGen America and the Act Now on Climate PAC that supported Jay Inslee, who has since dropped out of the race. Check out the full breakdown from the Center for Responsive Politics for more details on the dark money spent on political ads and how much every US presidential candidate has spent thus far on ads across all digital media platforms.
  • Idaho Press-Tribune

    Harris: Contribute to my campaign and I'll jump off a bridge

    A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate says she will tandem BASE jump off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls if she raises $15,000 or more between Sept. 18 and Sept. 30. In a news release, Nancy Harris' campaign says she is running a small donor-funded campaign and has pledged not to take money from the fossil fuel industry. Her news release dings U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, the Republican incumbent who is running for reelection, for being one of the wealthiest members of the Senate - his net worth was $54.7 million in 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, much of it coming from his real estate and agriculture investments - and says he has taken almost $250,000 from the fossil fuel industry during his career.
  • VICE

    Mark Zuckerberg Just Turned Himself into a Congressional Piñata

    Silicon Valley has already spent heavily to lobby Congress. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet have poured a combined $26 million into such efforts so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Zuckerberg's trip to Washington this week once again added a personal touch to this push. In March, he called for new internet regulations in an op-ed for The Washington Post. The proposals included standardized rules for reducing the spread of harmful content, verifying political advertisers, and protecting user data.

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