If you live in a competitive house district, or in a state with a competitive Senate race you’re probably being bombarded with political advertisements in advance of next week’s midterm elections. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this election could cost nearly $4 billion, crushing the record for spending in a midterm election.
Much of this money is coming in the form of independent expenditures — spending by ”individual people, groups, political committees, corporations or unions expressly advocating the election or defeat of clearly identified federal candidates.” As Need to Know has reported, this is the first election cycle since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision changed the rules governing campaign finance back in January, and the source of all this money is opaque to say the least. However, the Federal Election Committee has tried to keep up with where that money is going – creating a database of expenditures that is updated in real-time, 24 hours a day (contributions are required to be reported within one day).
With an eye on the fact that Tuesday may end up being the priciest day of the entire campaign (TV buys are often made on Tuesdays covering the week ahead), we thought it might be interesting to highlight some of this past Tuesday’s most noteworthy disclosures.
All data below from FEC Independent Expenditure database at 9:45 a.m. ET on October 28, 2010
Independent expenditures totaled $50,585,235.46 for Tuesday, October 26, 2010.
The single largest expense was $2.75 million by the National Republican Senatorial Committee on media to oppose the candidacy of Senator Barbara Boxer in California.
The single smallest expense was $.50 by both the Restore America’s Voice PAC on search engine marketing to support the candidacy of Republican Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate race and Working America on tolls to support Democrat Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Senate race.
$48,261,508 was spent to oppose federal candidates, while only $2,313,726.56 was spent to support federal candidates.
The top three most expensive races of the day by independent expenditures were the Senate races in Pennsylvania between Joe Sestak (R) and Pat Toomey (D) ($5,216,216.69), Illinois between Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Mark Kirk (R) ($3,545,969.77), and California between Carly Fiorina (R) and Barbara Boxer (D) ($2,867,648.96),
The most expensive House race by independent expenditure was the battle between first-term Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) and challenger Keith Fimian (R) in the 11th District in Virginia. Spending totaled $1,092,228.38 for the day.
Democratic groups (either supporting Democratic candidates or opposing Republicans) spent $33,423,916.47.
Republican groups (either supporting Republican candidates or opposing Democrats) spent $17,151,318.99.
Only one independent group spent on both sides of the aisle: West Virginians for Life Inc. PAC gave money supporting both John Raese and Joe Manchin, the two candidates competing for the same Senate seat in West Virginia. However, their contributions on Tuesday were modest: $110.81 on mailings and postage for both candidates.
Are there other interesting nuggets from the independent expenditure database — found here — from either yesterday or in general?