Washington Post: Defeated House Democrats outspent GOP in campaigns

Written by admin on November 4th, 2010

The Washington Post reports that House Democrats actually outspent House Republicans in the elections when all sources are considered.

Washington Post

In two-thirds of the House seats that Republicans picked up Tuesday, Democratic candidates had more money behind them than Republicans, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Overall, Democratic candidates in the 63 races that flipped to the GOP had $206.4 million behind them, a tally that includes candidate fundraising and spending by parties and interests. That compares to only $171.7 million for their GOP rivals.

The pattern appears to contradict widespread complaints from Democrats that they were being unfairly overrun by wealthy Republicans, many of whom donated money to conservative groups to spend on political races – unencumbered by the limits and public-disclosure requirements that constrain most political fundraising. The data show that even in many races in which Republicans had more outside help, they still had fewer resources than their Democratic opponents.

In the Senate, Republicans had much more money than Democrats for the seats they captured in Pennsylvania and Illinois left open by retiring lawmakers. In Pennsylvania, Rep. Joe Sestak (D) raised $7 million, about half as much as former representative Pat Toomey (R). Toomey also benefited from $9.3 million in outside spending, compared to only $2.8 million on behalf of Sestak.

In Wisconsin, Sen. Russell Feingold (D) was outraised by businessman Ron Johnson (R), who invested $8.2 million of his own money in the race. Feingold lost, pulling in 47 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 52 percent.

The most expensive congressional race was for the Senate seat in Connecticut, where businesswoman Linda McMahon (R) invested $46.6 million in her campaign. She lost to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) on Tuesday night after receiving 44 percent of the vote.

The Post analysis looked at fundraising by general election candidates through October 13 and independent spending reported by the parties and interest groups through Election Day. It did not include money raised by candidates in the final weeks before the election, or transfers from the parties to states for turnout operations. A full accounting won’t be possible for another month, when new disclosure filings are due.

Not all of the losing Democrats outgunned their GOP challengers, of course. In New Hampshire, Democrat Carol Shea-Porter fell to GOP candidate Frank Guinta, who had $1.7 million more than the incumbent, along with help from his allies, including more than $800,000 in spending by outside conservative groups.

In the race to replace Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon in Louisiana, Republican Jeff Landry and his supporters had $2.7 million more than his Democratic opponent. Other defeated Democrats who faced war-chest deficits of $1 million or more included Reps. Stephanie Herseth SandlinGlenn Nye (Va.)


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