NewsLocal NewsIn Your Parish


A breakdown of congressional campaign finances and their role in the polls

Posted at 10:06 PM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 00:49:17-04

Tuesday is the last day of early voting.

The 3rd district congressional race is the most crowded race for a Louisiana seat in the US House of Representatives, with 7 candidates.

There are four Democrats: Rob Anderson, Mimi Methvin, Larry Rader, and Verone Thomas; a libertarian candidate, Aaron Andrus; and two Republicans Josh Guillory and the incumbent, Congressman Clay Higgins.

With just over a week to go, the latest campaign finance reports are in.

“Money is the lifeblood of politics. You can’t win without it really,” said KATC political analyst and UL professor, Dr. Pearson Cross.

Congressman Higgins has raised by far the most money at more than $800,000.

Guillory and Methvin are behind him at around $320,000 and $230,000.

Andrus doesn’t have any records on file.

The other 3 candidates: Rader, Anderson and Thomas have raised under $25,000.

To read the entire list of their finances click here.

“Running for office, particularly for US Congress and on up, is a money game and raising money indicates how serious you are about winning. If you can’t raise a couple hundred-thousand dollars to run for congress then you’re not that serious about winning,” said Cross.

All candidates have spent about 80-95% of their finances at this point. The top three fundraisers, each with less than $100,000 of cash on hand.

Cross said this is typical at this point in the race.

“One would expect that the candidates would spend most of their money except for a last little bit for a media-buy towards the end of the campaign. So they’re going all out. If they make it into a run-off they’ll raise more money to spend,” he said.

Although Cross said money plays a key role in congressional elections, many voters KATC spoke to said things like media appearances, yard signs and other ads don’t play much of a factor when they head to the polls.

“I love somebody who doesn’t come for a photo-op to a community event. They come and they support just because. That’s what helps to get my vote more than any kind of ad,” said Lafayette Parish voter, Kisharra Angelety.

“The more money you have is not as important to me and how much money you raise doesn’t affect my vote. It’s more about what your underlying politics are going to do,” said another voter, Teddi Buller.

However, Cross said name recognition, paid for by candidates, goes a long way.

“Voters are probably unaware of how much money a candidate has but they are aware of how often they’ve heard that candidate’s name. Whether they’ve seen that candidate on TV or social media, whether they’ve seen their yard signs. So money won’t buy you voters but it will help alert voters to your presence,” said Cross.

To see what else is on your ballot, click here.

To read about early voting turn out, click here.