He has stepped up his activity this year. Atkinson ran full-page ads in Chicago papers, urging his congressman to support Obama's health care legislation, which passed Congress in March. He's raising money for the DNC in the hopes Democrats will retain control of the House and Senate in November. "If the president loses the ability to have the support of Congress, it's going to have a negative impact on our agenda," he said.
In New Jersey, Rod Zilenziger, who runs a publishing firm, had given $500 to the Republican National Committee in 2008, records show. For this election, he has eschewed the RNC, instead contributing $2,500 to the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, a political action committee also known as TeaPartyExpress.org that supports anti-tax, small government "Tea Party" candidates.
Zilenziger, 48, said he has grown disenchanted with candidates who don't share his conservative perspective on issues such as national defense and immigration. "I wanted to make sure the money I was giving to political candidates went to people who share my views," he said of his shift in contributions. "I'm not interested in a Republican candidate for the sake of a Republican candidate."