Meet the kingmakers: nearly 85 percent of state-level candidates backed directly by the top 50 donors won their 2014 elections, compared with only 52 percent for typical political contributors.
More than 40 percent of the $440 million from the 2014 election cycle’s top 50 donors went to independent groups, more than to candidates or political parties.
A Center analysis shows multiple donation paths, such as giving to independent groups not directly tied to candidates or parties, allowed top political donors to surpass campaign contribution limits.
Most of the money from 2014’s top election donor, the Republican Governors Association, went to political groups doling out funds to state races.
Among the five largest contributors to the Republican Governors Association ahead of the 2014 elections: Casino giant Sheldon Adelson, David Koch and an investment firm created by the founder of 5-Hour Energy drink.