The metaphorical pocketbooks of several local political campaigns are feeling Democrats’ “anger” toward the White House.

More liberal voters are mad—ticking off a litany of frustrations including failing to take a definitive stance against alt-right supporters who engage in racist rhetoric, separating children from their parents at the southern U.S. border and what many say are numerous political gaffes by President Donald Trump since he took office. Those issues paired with the seeming unwillingness of many sitting members of Congress to denounce those actions, have encouraged many Democrats to reach into their pockets and support candidates they think better align with their values.

And, in Washington state, that ire is resonating—four of the state’s 10 Congressional districts so far this year have seen more money raised by Democrats than in the past three elections.

Travis Ridout.
Travis Ridout

With America more polarized than ever, the impact is more tangible and the door open larger to candidates from another party, said Washington State University political science professor Travis Ridout.

As a result, more formidable candidates not in the president’s party enter the political sphere in midterm years because statistics show they have a better chance of winning. Because of their apparent abilities, they raise more money and ultimately earn more votes than similar candidates in presidential years who generally don’t put as much time and effort into campaigning.

And what seems to be a significant amount of money for Democrats in Central Washington, who have barely had any presence in past years, still doesn’t compare to normal Republican fundraising—the Republican National Committee routinely raises millions more than its Democrat counterpart—Ridout said.

“There is a minimum level you need to run a successful House campaign,” he said. “Five hundred thousand dollars may seem impressive when the previous candidate only raised $50,000. But that doesn’t mean it’s enough to beat an incumbent.”

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