NORTH CAROLINA -- With the midterm election less than three months away, candidates in North Carolina’s 13th congressional district are building their war chests.
The two top candidates for the district, which stretches from Charlotte to the Greensboro triad area, so far have raised more than $3 million combined.
Of that, Democrat Kathy Manning is outpacing her Republican Rival, and current Congressman Ted Budd. Manning has raised roughly $1.9 million compared with Budd’s $1.2 million, according to data from OpenSecrets.org.
“It is not typical for the incumbent to have less money on hand. However, the incumbent already has name recognition. They don’t need to buy it,” said Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics which tracks money in campaigns.
“In last cycle we saw $1.5 million spent by the winning House candidate. So already these candidates are placed,” she said.
Where does all that money come from?
In Manning’s case, roughly 56 percent of the larger individual donations come from outside North Carolina. Among those top-dollar donors are folks at Google’s California-based parent company Alphabet, Inc. They’ve contributed $11,800, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Meanwhile, roughly 28 percent of Budd’s larger individual donations come from out-of-state.
Budd has capitalized on this difference, tweeting “out of state donors are funding the majority of Kathy Manning’s support. We can’t let them buy this seat.”
Krumholz says this is a weakness for Manning. “These are donors who cannot help her on election day,” she said.
Krumholz says Manning is likely benefiting from an energized Democratic party nationwide, which is looking for any opportunity to flip a seat from red to blue. Added to that, is the amount of excitement surrounding female candidates this election season
Overall, Manning is dominating in terms of both smaller and larger individual donations. Budd meanwhile is benefiting from big contributions from Political Action Committees (or PACs), which Krumholz says is typical for an incumbent.
“The issue if one loses, is not that they did not have enough money,” Krumholz says.
The question is, who can capitalize on all that cash to get voters to the polls? Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
For a closer look at the money in the 13th district race, click here.