Will the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling be a game changer for the 2014 Midterms?

Apr 2, 2014


Alhambra residents vote on Election Day at the Alhambra Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, on November 6, 2012 in California, as Americans flock to the polls nationwide to decide between President Barack Obama, his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and a wide range of other issues.; Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court’s Wednesday morning ruling allowing wealthy donors to give money to as many political candidates, parties and committees as they wish will face its first test as the 2014 midterm elections quickly approach. The 5-4 decision is the latest to loosen the rules around campaign finance by striking down the limits on how much individuals can donate during a federal election cycle.

The conservative-majority ruling lifts the cap – which previously stood at $123,200 overall for a two-year election cycle – allowing individual donors to instead spend millions. Donors are still limited in how much they can give each candidate or national political party but they can now donate to as many candidates and committees as they wish.

This ruling could have huge repercussions for the upcoming election, which is already in full swing. With wealthy individuals now able to contribute to an unlimited number of candidates and party committees, it opens the door for far more money to flow into the election season than in previous races.

What impact will this SCOTUS ruling have on local and national midterm race? Will we see a huge amount of cash flow into the election that would otherwise not have been spent? Since the number of high level donors is so small, and there are plenty of opportunities to spend money with political action committees, will its impact be limited?


Doyle McManus, Washington Columnist, Los Angeles Times


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