Midterm election cycle spending will balloon to over $5 billion this year, according to The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), making it, by far, the most expensive congressional election cycle in American history. For the first time in 10 years, Democratic candidates are projected to receive more funds than their Republican counterparts
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“We expected to see the numbers climb, as they typically do, but the astonishing spike in campaign donations is a solid indicator of the intensity driving this year’s campaigns,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.
Spending on the 2018 election has already topped $3.7 billion, putting it near the 2016 total of just over $4 billion spent for the House and Senate, which was a record for a congressional election. CRP’s model projects the total amount spent in the 2018 election will total $5.2 billion
Democratic candidates have a huge lead in spending over Republicans, having shelled out more than $1 billion to Republican candidates’ $720 million. The CRP expects the Democrats to outspend the Republicans by $300 million. If the Democrats do, in fact, spend more -- the first time in 10 years.
Democrats have the lead when it comes to attracting funds from individual donors, having raised more than $1.3 billion compared to under $1 billion from small donors to Republicans.
But, when it comes to outside money, Republicans have the lead, attracting $343 million in spending compared to $248 million for Democrats. The CRP projects outside spending will be the highest-ever for a midterm election.