Effective Giving and the US House of Representatives (10/17 filing update)
TL;DR, if you want to help Democrats that are in races that are tossups, but have a big funding disadvantage as of the last filing deadline, give to the following races:
CA-49 IL-10 FL-07, and FL-26
When I make political contributions, I want them to benefit Democrats who are in close races, and I want my (relatively small) contribution to actually matter. This means that as a resident of a very Democrat leaning district and state, I should think about sending money to out of state candidates.
Since I’m not very wealthy, any donation that I give has a marginally smaller effect on presidential and senate races. The amount of money in those races is staggering. (FWIW, I did give $100 to Hillary). However, US House of Representatives candidates regularly operate with less than a million dollars in the bank, making small contributions much more important.
In addition, Republicans are much better than Democrats at mobilizing wealthy donors to give to out of state races, so many Democratic candidates have huge fundraising disadvantages, even in close races. (Democrats had a 25 million dollar disadvantage in the non-solid races in both the 6/30 and the 9/30 data)
So, I want to identify races that are close, small money, and where the Democrat is at a disadvantage in funding.
To find races that are close, I relied on the most recent Cook Political House race ratings. They categorize races as Solid, Likely, Lean, or Tossup. For my dataset, I excluded all solid seats. And for the 5 races at the top, I only included Tossups. (updated to 10/14 Cook ratings)
To get data about the money in these races, I pulled the cash on hand data from the most recent FEC filings. This gets me the Democrats who both have a disadvantage, and who don’t have much cash on hand at the time of the disclosure. (updated to most recent filings).
I cleaned the data in R, merged the 2 sources together, and below are the results!