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OpenSecrets Blog

Independent Groups Set Record Pace for Outside Spending in a Midterm Election

by
Evan Mackinder

Ideological groups, business associations and unions have set a record pace for outside spending in a midterm election cycle, according to a fresh analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. (photo by Flickr user Tracy O)

Ideological groups, business associations and unions have set a record pace for outside spending in a midterm election cycle, according to a fresh analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

As of today, these independent groups combined have spent more than $167 million on independent expenditures, electioneering communications and internal communications.

That's up 367 percent from the $35.7 million spent at this point during the 2006 election -- the previous record for a midterm cycle. Such spending still does not match the amount tallied during the 2008 presidential election cycle, however, which set a high water mark of $220.4 million as of mid-October 2008.

And the money keeps on coming. 

Just Thursday, the Center reported that these groups had reached the $153.4 million mark. In other words: Outside spending by independent groups has jumped $13.6 million in about 24 hours.

Furthermore, the $167 million figure does not account for spending by party committees. When added together, combined outside spending by independent groups and party committees reaches a staggering $247.6 million -- also a record-setting pace for this point in a midterm election cycle.

 

Research Director Jihan Andoni and Researcher Spencer MacColl contributed to this report.

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