Hollywood Election Guide: 5 National Races Hollywood Is Watching
THR breaks down the candidates and issues important to industry donors as the Nov. 6 showdown puts it all on the line.
There’s a caucus for everything in Hollywood -- including stem cell research -- and Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette is its candidate. Janet and Jerry Zucker and others hosted an industry fund-raiser in June with an invitation that called DeGette "one of our country’s leading voices fighting for scientific progress at the FDA and federal funding for ethical stem cell research."
DeGette supporters: Sherry Lansing, Rob and Michelle Reiner
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, pro-choice and a supporter of health-care reform, was falling behind in the polls in Missouri until her Republican opponent, Rep. Todd Akin, made his infamous “legitimate rape” comments, turning the Midwest showdown into a nationally followed race. Polls show the contest still is surprisingly tight. Democratic stalwarts Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw and Susan Sarandon were early Hollywood donors to McCaskill's campaign.
McCaskill supporters: Sally Field, Kevin Kline.
Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly seemed destined for defeat in redder-than-red Indiana, then his Romney-endorsed GOP opponent, Richard Mourdock, declared that women impregnated during rape should accept the child as “God’s will.” Since then, Donnelly has been leading. This is one the Republicans never expected to lose.
Donnelly supporters: J.J. Abrams, Jane Lynch
Kirsten Gillibrand was known as a centrist lawmaker until she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, when she discovered her inner progressive. Her key role in the abolition of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” helped make her a Hollywood favorite. If President Obama has coattails anywhere on the East Coast, it will be in Massachusetts and New York, where Gillibrand seems bound for re-election against Republican challenger Wendy Long.
Gillibrand supporters: Barbra Streisand, Anna Wintour, Susan Sarandon
Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren has been Hollywood’s It girl in this election cycle, and her race to recapture Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat from Republican Scott Brown is going down to the wire. Meanwhile, Bobby Kennedy’s grandson, Joseph P. Kennedy III, is the left’s Kennedy du jour. He’s the favorite to occupy Barney Frank’s old House seat.
Warren supporters: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Kennedy supporters: Larry David, Ted Sarandos