Senate Democrats who voted for the banking deregulation bill took more than 4 times as much money from banks than Democrats who voted against it

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Heidi Heitkamp.

The Senate Democratic caucus was divided 17–31 yesterday on a vote to undo parts of the Dodd-Frank Act and allow big banks to take on more risk and operate with less regulatory oversight.

Pundits have speculated about why the Democrats were split, arguing that it was rural states vs. ones with major urban centers, or “safe” seats vs. “toss-ups,” or more simply a matter of progressives vs. centrists. But a review of campaign finance records suggests the strongest correlation may be which senators have received big donations from the banks recently and which haven’t.

The Democrats who voted for the bill have received, on average, $55,667 from commercial banks during the current election cycle, while the Democrats who voted against it received, on average, $13,007. That’s nearly 4.3 times as much money.

Here’s the full list of Senate Democrats (including Independents who caucus with the Democrats), how they voted on the bill, and how much money they have received from the banking industry this cycle:

Voted YES:

  • Heitkamp, Heidi (D-ND) — $157,354
  • Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) — $140,360
  • Tester, Jon (D-MT) — $131,662
  • McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) — $85,911
  • Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) — $82,947
  • Jones, Doug (D-AL) — $82,294
  • Kaine, Tim (D-VA) — $70,931
  • Warner, Mark (D-VA) — $48,773
  • Nelson, Bill (D-FL) — $36,163
  • Manchin, Joe (D-WV) — $35,161
  • Carper, Tom (D-DE) — $33,155
  • Peters, Gary (D-MI) — $16,535
  • King, Angus (I-ME) — $9,500
  • Coons, Chris (D-DE) — $7,500
  • Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) — $5,703
  • Hassan, Maggie (D-NH) — $2,021
  • Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) — $376

Voted NO:

  • Murphy, Christopher S (D-CT) — $77,987
  • Brown, Sherrod (D-OH) — $68,817
  • Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) — $66,150
  • Casey, Bob (D-PA) — $40,586
  • Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) — $26,276
  • Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) — $23,701
  • Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI) — $17,585
  • Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) — $12,920
  • Reed, Jack (D-RI) — $12,125
  • Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI) — $7,855
  • Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA) — $6,586
  • Cardin, Ben (D-MD) — $6,000
  • Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) — $5,623
  • Hirono, Mazie K (D-HI) — $5,306
  • Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) — $5,081
  • Booker, Cory (D-NJ) — $4,546
  • Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL) — $3,035
  • Harris, Kamala D (D-CA) — $2,995
  • Markey, Ed (D-MA) — $2,954
  • Sanders, Bernie (I-VT) — $2,796
  • Masto, Catherine Cortez (D-NV) — $1,295
  • Durbin, Dick (D-IL) — $1,196
  • Murray, Patty (D-WA) — $636
  • Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) — $581
  • Wyden, Ron (D-OR) — $309
  • Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) — $143
  • Udall, Tom (D-NM) — $130
  • Leahy, Pat (D-VT) — $0
  • Schatz, Brian (D-HI) — $0
  • Smith, Tina (D-MN) — $0
  • Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD) — $0

Did not vote:

  • Heinrich, Martin (D-NM) — $22,888

These figure were calculated using campaign contributions data from the Center for Responsive Politics.


Note: If you appreciate this type of research and reporting, please consider joining the email list for my new project, Sludge. Sign up here to get our newsletter.

Sludge will investigate the shadowy ways that special interests have captured America’s political system, revealing hidden networks and conflicts of interest. It is part of Civil’s “First Fleet” of newsrooms. It’s launching soon!