Trump effect? Candidates plow record amounts of their own money into congressional bids


Even before the polls open Tuesday, the midterm congressional elections are making history: A record number of wealthy House and Senate candidates are spending their own money to run for office, a new analysis provided to CNN shows.

Sixty-one self-funders have spent a combined $213 million of their own money to fund their campaigns, according to a tally by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks election activity. The previous fundraising high for congressional self-funders -- $166.3 million -- came in 2012 when 42 candidates plowed substantial sums into their own campaigns, the center's analysis shows.

Brendan Fischer of the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said asking donors for money helps candidates build a support base. "Fundraising requires that a candidate makes appeals to voters and listen to the interests of other people besides themselves," he said. "That can help create the movement necessary to mount a legitimate campaign."

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