Back in April, we published Cash is King in Raleigh, which gave a report on how the biggest corporate-backed political action committees (PACs) in North Carolina were doling out their campaign cash. We also announced a refresh of NC-PACS, Carolina Forward’s own comprehensive tracker of how the top 40+ corporate PACs are allocating their money.
In mid-July, campaign finance reports for the second quarter were released from the State Board of Elections. We have now completed processing the new batch of data and you can see it reflected in the graph above.
Overall, the second quarter is a relatively small reporting period for North Carolina candidates. It (somewhat misleadingly) only covers two months, May and June, instead of a full calendar quarter. Given that primaries were still underway until mid-May, this somewhat delayed the typical pattern of PAC giving to legislative races. On the whole, the corporate PAC community “only” gave a few hundred thousand dollars to candidates – relatively speaking, a smaller chunk.
The third quarter report covers almost four months: July through late October. We fully expect PAC giving to accelerate significantly in this period. Given how close many of North Carolina’s legislative races are, we may also see the proportion of corporate campaign contributions to Republican candidates increase, even though Republicans already account for an overwhelming majority of corporate PAC giving already.
For a (very brief) primer on campaign finance in North Carolina, see this post focusing on the second quarter reports. We will post an update, as well as refresh NC-PACS, when the third quarter reports land in October.