Democratic committees have built up a formidable monetary advantage over their Republican counterparts ahead of this year’s legislative elections, with $2,195,548 banked as of the end of 2022 compared to $624,898 for Republicans.
That’s according to a new report released today by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), which tracked the activities of the state’s “Big Six” fundraising committees: each party’s overall state committee, State Senate committee, and State Assembly committee.
In addition to having more money on-hand, Democrats also substantially outraised and outspent Republicans last year. The three Democratic committees collectively raised $4,137,096 and spent $2,839,829, while Republicans raised $1,734,918 and spent $1,231,772.
“Money isn’t everything,” ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle said in a statement. “But having more money means you can afford more on media buys, direct mail, get-out-the-vote and other campaign purposes… Both parties this year have an incentive to stash away as much cash as possible.”
Without any gubernatorial election or other statewide race on this year’s ballot, expenditures by the six committees will be critical for the state legislative candidates at the top of the ticket. In previous years, much of the spending in competitive legislative races has come from outside groups rather than the candidates themselves, who often can’t raise heaps of money on their own.
But as the 2021 legislative elections showed, cash advantages don’t always translate to election victories. Democratic candidates had far more money than Republicans in districts across the state, and yet Republicans still managed to flip a net of seven seats, including in some places where they had spent almost no money at all.