Heading into Tuesday's crucial midterm elections that will determine the control of the Senate, both parties have benefited for months from a new campaign fundraising method that allows big money donors to cast wide nets of support.
Previously, individual donors were restricted from giving more than $123,000 to candidates, political party committees and political action committees during a two-year election cycle. But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in April in the case McCutcheon v. FEC struck down those restrictions.
That has super-charged donations to so-called joint fundraising committees, or JFCs, which increasingly allow donors to disburse large amounts of money across multiple political interests. Contributors donate one sum that committees distribute among candidates, party committees, political action committees and other groups.
Donations to JFCs have already surpassed $168 million in the 2014 cycle, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The total, which covers reports only through the end of September, marks the largest sum raised by the committees in any nonpresidential election cycle.