To: Interested Parties
From: Karl Frisch, Allied Progress
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Re: Dems Backing Wall Street Lost / Dems Backing Consumers Won
After last week’s election proved to be a triumph for consumers, Allied Progress took a deeper look at the results and what we found is clear: Democratic challengers in moderate-to-conservative districts won by distancing themselves from Wall Street and financial industry special interests, vowing to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and calling out predatory lenders. Conversely, Democratic Senators who lost were those who joined Republicans in deregulating the banking industry and reversing consumer and market protections. Bottom line – voters respect Democrats who fight for consumer protections and financial industry accountability.
At least eight successful Democratic U.S. House and Senate challengers defeated Republican incumbents in moderate-to-conservative districts/states by:
- Criticizing their opponent’s support for Wall Street deregulation.
- Assailing their opponent’s support from predatory payday lenders.
- Pointing out Mick Mulvaney’s conflicts of interest at the CFPB.
- Condemning Mulvaney’s move to ease monitoring for Military Lending Act violations.
- Vowing to protect the CFPB from attacks by special interests and Congress.
- Calling for tough regulations protecting payday loan borrowers.
- Blasting their opponent’s support of CFPB Director nominee Kathy Kraninger.
While championing consumer protection and financial industry accountability was a recipe for success for many Democratic candidates, three Democratic Senators in moderate-to-conservative states lost their seats after offering their high-profile support to Republican efforts to deregulate the banking industry and reverse consumer and market protections put in place after the 2008 economic collapse.
Tuesday’s election results put House and Senate Democrats on notice: supporting Wall Street and attacking consumer and market protections are not only bad policy, but they are also bad politics. Continuing down this path is a recipe for electoral ruin.
- In South Carolina’s conservative 1st district, Democratic challenger Joe Cunningham defeated his Republican opponent Katie Arrington in a surprise win. Cunningham called incumbent Mark Sanford out for his support for Wall Street deregulation. [Tweet by Joe Cunningham, 06/09/2017, accessed 11/08/18]
- In Texas’ 32nd district, Democratic challenger Colin Allred criticized incumbent Republican Pete Sessions over his support for the deregulation of Wall Street. Allred specifically pointed to Sessions’ support of the Financial CHOICE Act. [Tweet by Colin Allred, 06/08/17, accessed 11/08/18]. [Tweet by Colin Allred, 10/25/17, accessed 11/08/18]
- In Kansas’ conservative 3rd district, Democratic challenger Sharice Davids defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, criticizing his support from payday lenders during the campaign. Yoder took more money from the payday lending industry than any other Member of Congress. [Tweet by Sharice Davids, 10/30/18, accessed 11/08/18]
- Two weeks before her surprise win in conservative Oklahoma’s 5th district, Democratic challenger Kendra Horn vowed to protect the CFPB and called for restrictions on Payday Lenders. When asked at the political forum about her commitment to protect the CFPB, she answered with “absolutely.” [Justin Wingerter, “Kendra Horn calls private prisons unethical and immoral at VOICE forum,”The Oklahoman, 10/15/18]
- In Virginia’s 7th district, Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to pull back on monitoring for Military Lending Act (MLA) violations. Spanberger, a former CIA Operations Officer, criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to suspend preemptive examinations of lenders for violations of MLA.[Tweet by Abigail Spanberger, 08/12/18, accessed 11/08/18]
- In California’s 48th district, Democratic challenger Harley Rouda criticized Mick Mulvaney’s tenure at the CFPB during his upset bid over long-time incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher. He even went so far as to criticize Mulvaney’s efforts to embolden the predatory payday lending industry by pointing out his $62,000 in campaign contributions while Mulvaney was a Member of Congress.[Tweet by Harley Rouda, 01/23/18, accessed 11/08/18]
- In Colorado’s 6th district, Democratic challenger Jason Crow defeated incumbent Republican Mike Coffman on a platform of “restoring consumer protection.” Additionally, Crow supported consumer protection efforts while he served as a board member of The Bell Policy Center. [“Economic Mobility & Consumer Protection ,” Jason Crow for Congress, accessed 11/08/18]
- Nevada’s incumbent Republican Senator, Dean Heller – who voted to advance Kathy Kraninger’s nomination for CFPB Director – lost re-election to Democratic challenger, Jacky Rosen, who opposed Kraninger and criticized Heller’s vote. [Tweet by Jacky Rosen, 08/24/18, accessed 11/08/18]
Senators Who Voted to Deregulate Banks Did Not Fare Well on Tuesday:
- Senators McCaskill, Heitkamp, and Donnelly all lost their seats despite voting for S. 2155, a bill to undo Wall Street reform and consumer protections.[Jennifer Taub, “Mitch McConnell’s big gift to the banks,” CNN, 03/05/18; Alexi McCammond, “The incumbents who lost in 2018,” Axios, 11/08/18; Senate Vote 54, S. 2155 – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, 03/14/18]
House Members Who Voted to Deregulate Wall Street and Support Payday Lenders Also Lost:
- 22 U.S. Representatives (and counting) who voted to deregulate Wall Street and support predatory payday lenders lost their seats.The House incumbents that voted for HR 10 (The Financial CHOICE Act) or HR 5485 (2017 Financial Services Appropriations) and weren’t re-elected on Tuesday include:Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Pete Roskam (R-IL), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Rep. Erik Paulson (R-MN), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), Rep. David Young (R-IA), Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), Rep. John Faso (R-NY), Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).
- An additional four Representatives who voted to deregulate wall street and support predatory payday lenders are trailing in districts that have yet to be called. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). Experts indicate it is also likely that Democrats will flip California’s 45thdistrict which is held by pro-Wall Street incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), and California’s 39thDistrict, an open seat held by a retiring pro-Wall Street Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA).
Behind the Democratic Wins: Far More Grassroots Funding than Wall Street Funding
- Successful Democratic challengers relied on grassroots fundraising far more than financial industry cash as they waged their successful campaigns. Democratic challengers who successfully defeated a Republican incumbent (or won an open Senate seat) raised over $35 million on the grassroots fundraising platform ActBlue, while taking in only $20 million from the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate industries combined. [OpenSecrets.org and FEC.gov, accessed 11/13/18]
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