*This report first appeared on Ballotpedia as a part of our ongoing partnership. We are proud to provide campaign finance data to Ballotpedia for state-level elections. Learn more about our partnership here.*
The value of money in state-level politics extends beyond purchasing power. Campaign cash allows candidates to promote their message and turn out their voters, but perhaps more importantly, it often represents momentum. While having the biggest campaign account is no guarantee of success at the polls, studies conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Campaign Finance Institute found a strong correlation.
As part of our partnership with Ballotpedia, we took a closer look at how the two major political party candidates for state legislatures in nine states—Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin—performed with fundraising in a cycle-vs-cycle comparison from 2018 to 2020.
Highlights from each state appear below. Click on the link under each state to see the full reports.
Here’s what we found in Arizona:
Here’s what we found in Florida:
Here’s what we found in Michigan:
Here’s what we found in Minnesota:
Here’s what we found in North Carolina:
Here’s what we found in Ohio:
Here’s what we found in Pennsylvania:
Here’s what we found in Texas:
Here’s what we found in Wisconsin:
Update: These Wisconsin numbers were corrected January 26, 2021, to correct a previous mistake.
The direct comparison between fundraising data from 2018 and 2020 is limited by at least two factors. First, the same seats and offices were not necessarily up for election in both years. For example, Michigan held elections for both chambers (the state Senate and House of Representatives) in 2018, but only for the House in 2020. Second, additional offices on the ballot in a year might affect the amount of money raised in state legislative elections. For example, among the states studied, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin all held gubernatorial elections alongside their state legislative elections in 2018 but not 2020.