(NewsNation) — As the most populous state and among the richest, California is fertile ground for political fundraising, particularly for Democrats.
Senate control is up for grabs, meaning big money has been flowing to Georgia.
Republican Senate candidate Hershel Walker has not even a third of the campaign war chest of Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock.
Each vote for Warnock could be among the most expensive in U.S. history. The Democrat has $115 million in contributions and much of that money is from out of state.
Recent data shows that in Georgia, Warnock raised a bit more than $5 million.
Nearly the same amount poured in from New York, but Californians provided a windfall, with more than $8.7 million.
Walker seems unconcerned, however.
“What I worry about is what the people of Georgia say about me,” he said. “What the people of Georgia say is that I’m their next senator.”
Donations to Warnock make clear that people outside of Georgia also want a say.
“You do see people from lots of places like California and Illinois, but also places you might not expect to see, like Indiana or South Carolina,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University.
Among the Hollywood heavyweights who have donated to Warnock are Norman Lear, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Debra Messing.
Plenty of everyday Democrats outside Georgia have also chipped in.
“You have individuals who are willing to put some of this money out if they care about what’s happening with control of the Senate, especially if they’re in a state that doesn’t have a competitive race,” said Diana Carlin, a professor emeritus at St. Louis University.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that city residents there have donated more money to Warnock in Georgia than any race in California.
“That determination that his seat was potentially flappable was going to target a lot of attention there, and that’s manifesting itself in terms of the type of fundraising we’re seeing on his behalf,” Gillespie said.
While the Georgia Senate race is the nation’s most expensive, a very close second is in Pennsylvania, where Democratic candidate John Fetterman is neck-and-neck with Republican and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz.
That race also has drawn major Democratic dollars, including from California.