Down ballot races get attention of mega donors

Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and Donald Trump aren’t stopping with their efforts to swing the presidential election. Now, they’re shoveling cash into down-ticket races. 
Their big checks have helped state-focused GOP groups more than double the cash haul of their Democratic counterparts and open up another front that could help Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama.

Many of the hottest gubernatorial races are in key presidential election states, including North Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin and the increased activity could and attention to conservative policies on critical issues like government spending, labor rights, voter access, gay rights and immigration could help tip the scales in Romney’s favor. Negative ads against the Democrats won’t hurt either. 
“I think that you’ll see amazingly the same swing counties and swing precincts that will determine the outcome of the presidential race will also be determining the outcome of state legislative races — whether it’s suburban Columbus, Ohio, or the Orlando area in Florida,” said Chris Jankowski, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Big conservative donors see the down ticket races as a wise investment. 
Billionaire industrialist David Koch and Koch Industries — the multinational firm he runs with his brother Charles — have given more than $2 million to the Republican Governors Association this year, making them the group’s top donor, according to federal filings and the Center for Responsive Politics. Koch Industries has also donated more than $125,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee this cycle. 
Adelson has donated $1 million this cycle to the RGA and $150,000 to the RSLC.

 The RGA has raised more than $57 million thus far this cycle, more than twice what the $26 million the Democratic Governors Association had brought in by mid-April, when the most recent reports were filed. 
The Republican State Leadership Committee, which participates in state races beyond legislative seats, has raised more than $17 million — more than triple the $5 million take of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
The Democrats' largest donors in down ballot races are mostly unions including some representing state employee unions.  They appear to be trying to sustain their corrupt bargain with Democrat politicians.

What the Republicans get out of the investment in down ballot races is an improved ground game such as that which helped propel Scott Walker to victory in the Wisconsin recall race.  It is an area where Democrats will probably not have the advantage they have had in the past.

These races also help build a much stronger Republican bench for future contests.


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