Wealthy donors could make a larger dent in campaign seasons to come after the Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on how much individuals can give to congressional campaigns in a 5-to-4 decision issued on Wednesday.
The ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC does not affect the $2,600 limit any person may give to a specific candidate.
Previously, individuals were held to a maximum gift of $123,200 to congressional candidates every two years.
A post on FiveThirtyEight.com by Harry Enten examined the weight of the ruling and found that few donors actually reached the Federal Election Committee’s limits in 2012 and that "maxed-out donors leaned about 3-to-2 toward giving to Republican candidates." Enten wrote that the numbers he's sketched out may even underestimate the GOP's advantage in the future
The outcry on Twitter was immediate. Data and dissenting judges aside, even a cursory scroll through the social media platform revealed a range of opinions on the ruling, including a fair dose of outrage.
It's good to know the Supreme Court has still got your back* (* = to qualify, your back must be attached to a millionaire)— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) April 2, 2014
Quick survey of strategists in both parties comes to same conclusion: GOP House/SEN candidates benefit the most. GOP has more wealthy donors— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) April 2, 2014
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) April 2, 2014
Yet Enten said another outcome of the ruling could be increased transparency, because donations to PACs, party committees, and candidates have stricter FEC disclosure rules than donations made to Super PACs.