This means that the top dozen donors — six of whom largely supported Democrats and six of whom generally supported Republicans — accounted for 7.5% of the $45 billion donated to federal political causes between January 2009 and December 2020, according to the analysis by Washington-based good-government group Issue One, based on campaign finance data compiled by the nonpartisan research group Center for Responsive Politics.

The analysis offers a sobering account of the level of influence that a handful of wealthy donors have on modern U.S. politics, especially as politicians and political groups increasingly emphasize grassroots support and small-dollar donations.

“Americans are losing faith in our democratic institutions,” Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee wrote in the report.

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