Industries contribute to PACs; here's how five distribute it ahead of the midterms

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The midterm elections, set to be held on Nov. 8, are just around the corner.

They will determine which political party respectively controls the House and Senate. OpenSecrets, a group that tracks political money, projected in late September that total spending by political parties, candidates, political action committees (PACs) and other groups at the federal level for the midterms will ultimately reach more than $9.3 billion.

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As the midterms approach, here's a look at how PACs in five industries have been contributing funds.

Commercial Banking

PACs affiliated with commercial banking have contributed more than $7.42 million to federal candidates during the midterm election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.

Of that total, roughly 40% – or $2.97 million – has gone to Democrats, the organization reported. Republican candidates have received about $4.45 million (60%).

PACs affiliated with commercial banking have contributed more than $7.42 million to federal candidates during the midterm election cycle, according to OpenSecrets. (iStock / iStock)

The data, based on information released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in September, accounts for nearly 80 PACs in the commercial banking industry, according to OpenSecrets.

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During the 2018 midterm election cycle, 118 commercial banking-affiliated PACs gave a total of more than $13.83 million to federal candidates, OpenSecrets data showed. Approximately 30.6% went to Democrats that year.

Defense Aerospace

The total amount contributed to federal candidates by defense aerospace PACs so far during the 2022 election cycle is around $2.3 million, according to OpenSecrets.

The percentages of the total for Democrats and Republicans remain relatively close, though Republicans have received slightly more, OpenSecrets data showed. About $1 million went to Democrats, while roughly $1.2 million was given to Republicans, the group found.

The group included nine defense aerospace-affiliated PACs in its figures.

Oil and Gas

Amid the current campaign cycle, oil and gas PACs have given about $8.26 million to political candidates running at the federal level, according to OpenSecrets.

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The data, which included 87 oil and gas-related PACs, showed more than three quarters of the total contributions have gone to Republican candidates, while Democrats have received slightly less than 25%.

Amid the current campaign cycle, oil and gas PACs have given about $8.26 million to political candidates running at the federal level, according to OpenSecrets. (iStock / iStock)

A little more than 100 oil and gas PACs contributed a total of some $13.5 million during the last midterm cycle, according to the group.

Automotive

About $5.92 million has been contributed to federal candidates by automotive industry PACs during the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to the latest OpenSecrets data, which included 29 PACs.

OpenSecrets’ data for the current election cycle showed Democrats received around $2.12 million – or 35.8% – of the total auto PAC contributions, whereas Republicans got $3.8 million (about 64.2%).

About $5.92 million has been contributed to federal candidates by automotive industry PACs during the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to the latest OpenSecrets data.

For the last midterms, OpenSecrets found 44 PACs affiliated with the auto industry gave roughly $8.75 million total to candidates. The percentages of total auto PAC funds given to Democrats vs. Republicans during the 2018 election cycle were similar to the latest figures for the 2022 midterms, according to the group's data.

Food Processing and Sales

Among the five industries examined, food processing and sales PACs appear to have contributed the least amount of money to federal candidates so far.

Shoppers inside a grocery store in San Francisco on May 2, 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In the 2021-2022 cycle, they gave some $1.32 million total to candidates, roughly $790,000 of which went to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.

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The data, based on FEC data and consisting of 38 PACs, also put the amount of contributions Democrats received at about $530,000.

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