Hollywood Opens Wallet for Democrats Facing Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell

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Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell

In the third campaign quarter of the year, A-listers donated mostly to Senate candidates Jaime Harrison (South Carolina) and Amy McGrath (Kentucky).

Democrats Jaime Harrison and Amy McGrath face uphill battles in their campaigns to unseat Republican heavy-hitters Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, but they are getting a helping hand from Hollywood.

In the most recent campaign finance period (covering July through September), nearly three-quarter (73.8 percent) of donations made by members of The Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful People in Entertainment 2019 list went to Harrison or McGrath. Harrison received nine donations totaling $21,600 while McGrath received nine donations totaling $18,100.

Harrison's donors included Disney chief creative officer Alan Horn, director J.J. Abrams, CAA managing partner Kevin Huvane, Paramount Pictures chairman Jim Gianopulos, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

In Q3, McGrath received donations from Abrams, Huvane, HBO's Casey Bloys, Gianopulos, Shonda Rhimes, Walt Disney Studios president of production Sean Bailey, Meledandri and Katzenberg.

In late July, THR reported that Sen. Kamala Harris led the way — at the time — among donations from Hollywood A-listers to presidential candidates, but none of the contenders received donations this quarter from members of the Powerful People in Entertainment list. That omission is likely because many of the donors have already maxed out, having given the maximum $2,800 to candidates for both the primary and general elections.

As always, 2020 is an election year for the House of Representatives. This quarter, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff received $8,400 in donations, including $2,800 from Steven Spielberg and $5,600 from Katzenberg. Huvane donated $1,800 to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in late September. 

Katzenberg was the top donor in the third campaign quarter, making $14,000 in donations in September, according to THR's review. Abrams was second, with $11,200 in donations, followed by $8,200 from Huvane.