Hollywood's Election Guide
THR breaks down the candidates and issues important to industry donors as the Nov. 6 showdowns put it all on the line.
The White House
Republicans and Democrats have spent nearly $1 billion each in their quest to capture the White House, and Hollywood again has played a key role in backing President Obama. At least 198 celebrities -- with names as diverse as Eddie Murphy, Anne Hathaway, Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino -- donated a combined $684,000 (with a limit of $5,000 each) to Obama's official campaign. And the Hollywood-supported super PAC Priorities USA, a pet cause of DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg, has helped raise $100 million to defeat Romney. Will it be money well spent?
There's a caucus for everything in Hollywood -- including stem cell research -- and Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D) 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." Supporters: Sherry Lansing, Rob and Michelle Reiner
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), 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. Democrat stalwarts Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw and Susan Sarandon were early Hollywood donors. Supporters: Sally Field, Kevin Kline
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) 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 is leading. This is one the Republicans never expected to lose. 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 Obama has coattails anywhere on the East Coast, it will be in Massachusetts and New York, where Gillibrand seems bound for reelection against Republican challenger Wendy Long. 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 Massachusetts U.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. For Warren: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon; For Kennedy: Larry David, Ted Sarandos