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24 billionaires behind the election, revealed

Michael BloombergMichael Bloomberg
Michael BloombergPhoto by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

We don’t need to wait until Tuesday night to name a handful of billionaires among the winners in this midterm election. Recent court decisions removing limits on campaign activity unleashed a flood of spending by the politically inclined super-rich. And disclosure rules haven’t kept pace, meaning much of what those players have done to exert their influence will remain in the dark.

But Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, has done his best to comb through disclosure reports and, by combining that information with qualitative judgments about softer forms of power, come up with a ranking of our new oligarchy. West’s index accompanies his new book on the same topic, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust. He tells Fortune it’s a “critique, not so much of the fact that they’re spending a lot of money—that’s perfectly fine—but of the lack of transparency in some of the cases, and the impact on governance.

The names on his list will be more than familiar to our readers. Indeed, many have received the profile treatment from Fortune in recent years—or have been the subject of regular coverage. So, in the interest of shedding some light on their backstories and motivations, here’s West’s ranking, along with links to some of our coverage of the listees.

1. Charles & David Koch

2. Michael Bloomberg

3. Tom Steyer

4. Sheldon Adelson

5. Rupert Murdoch

6. John “Joe” Ricketts

7. Robert “Bob” Mercer

8. Paul Singer

9. Peter Thiel

10. George and Jonathan Soros

11. John and Laura Arnold

12. Bill and Melinda Gates

13. Family of the late Peter Lewis

14. Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg

15. Warren Buffett

16. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos

17. Pierre and Pamela Omidyar

18. James “Jim” Simons

19. David Geffen

20. Penny Pritzker

21. Marc Andreessen

22. Peter Peterson

23. Donald Trump

24. Alice Walton