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Washington’s newest kingmakers

October 9, 2014, 11:55 AM UTC
Pennsylvania Avenue at dusk
Photo By: Jon Hicks—Getty Images

Inequality in election spending is nothing new. In the previous midterms, in 2010, the top 0.26% of donors gave 68% of all individual political contributions, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Much of that went to GOP candidates. That year the top 100 largest Republican donors outspent Democrats 2.5 to 1—at least in terms of disclosed contributions. In 2008 the ratio was 5 to 1. The tide, however, appears to be changing. True, in the age of dark money (think Super PACs and the like), not all political giving is transparent, but so far this election season, Democratic bankrollers have spent $77.7 million to Republicans’ $54.5 million. Here’s a look at the top five largest donors of the 2014 cycle so far. Say hello to the new big-money power brokers.

Tom Steyer Founder, Farallon Capital Management

Spent so far: $20,453,034
affiliations: 100% liberal

Politics’ new moneyman is the founder of the $20 billion hedge fund Farallon Capital Management. He has pledged to raise millions for his Super PAC and spend $50 million of his own money to combat 
deniers of climate change

Michael Bloomberg Founder, Bloomberg LP

Spent so far: $11,508,903
95% liberal

The multi-billionaire executive and former New York City mayor has doled out millions in contributions this year to PACs and 2014 midterm candidates (mostly liberal). His priorities are education reform, marriage equality, and gun control.

Fred Eychaner Founder, Newsweb

Spent so far: $5,837,000
Recipient affiliations: 100% liberal

The intensely private Chicago billionaire (and occasional White House guest) flies under the radar. He is almost never photographed and reportedly drives a Ford Escape. Still, he has long been a major donor to Democratic causes.

Paul Singer Founder, Elliott Management

Spent so far: $5,286,149
affiliations: 100% conservative

A hedge fund titan with a rec-ord of outsize returns, the onetime Mitt Romney backer has been in a pitched battle with Argentina over its refusal to pay its debts. The GOP stalwart is also a supporter of gay rights.

Richard Uihlein Co-Founder, Uline

Spent so far: $4,919,550
Recipient affiliations: 100% conservative

The owner of a Midwestern shipping supply company, Uihlein has recently risen as a Republican kingmaker and champion of fiscal conservatism. He’s active in local races and has backed Tea Party candidates across the country.

Illustrations By: Joel Kimmel

This story is from the October 27, 2014 issue of Fortune.