Washington Post: Price tag of midterm campaign likely to hit $4 billion

Written by admin on October 28th, 2010

The Washington Post reports that campaign spending in this non Presidential election cycle may top $4 billion, an all time record amount spent.

Washington Post

In the latest sign of this year’s record-breaking election season, an independent research group estimated Wednesday that candidates, parties and outside interest groups together could spend up to $4 billion on the campaign.

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics provide evidence for a spending surge, even without a White House race. Expenditures have eclipsed what they were when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. The current election makes that contest “look like a bargain,” said Sheila Krumholz, CRP’s executive director.

There are three general tides of money swamping this year’s elections, according to CRP’s data: House and Senate candidates, who have reported raising $1.7 billion; the political parties, with about $1.1 billion; and outside interest groups, which have raised at least $400 million.

That adds up to $3.2 billion, but the numbers are incomplete amid the frenzy of ad buys and other activity in the week before the election. Candidate campaigns alone are on pace to eclipse $2 billion, which is a remarkable number, given restrictions on contributions.

Other patterns are also becoming clearer as the data accumulate. Donations from Wall Street, medical and insurance firms, energy conglomerates and other corporations have shifted decisively toward Republicans over the past year because of policy disputes with Democrats and anticipation of a possible GOP takeover in Congress.

The CRP data bolster another long-running theme in this election: GOP-leaning interest groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Action Network have been crucial in allowing Republicans to close a money gap with incumbent Democrats and their allies.


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