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Projection: 2022 will be the most expensive midterm election ever

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 12:49:12-04

The 2022 election is projected to be the most expensive midterm on record with a projected $16.7 billion being spent on federal and state races.

According to OpenSecrets, candidates for federal office are expected to spend $8.9 billion. State candidates will generate over $7.8 billion in spending, the organization estimates.

The 2018 midterm generated about $14 billion in spending.

Senate races, particularly those projected to be toss-ups, generate the most spending. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin are projected to be the most expensive races in the U.S., OpenSecrets says.

“No other midterm election has seen as much money at the state and federal levels as the 2022 elections,” said Sheila Krumholz, OpenSecrets’ executive director. “We’re seeing record-breaking totals spent on elections up and down the ballot.”

OpenSecrets noted that expensive primaries, especially on the Republican side, was a big reason for the jump. The group said inflation might play a role in keeping general election figures lower.

“Aggressive fundraising in early 2021 and competitive Republican primaries contributed to the record-smashing totals we saw earlier this year, but as 2022 wears on we are seeing candidates report more pedestrian hauls,” said Sarah Bryner, OpenSecrets’ director of research and strategy. “This could be caused by anything from donor fatigue to financial pressures caused by inflation, and we have yet to see whether this is an anomaly or the beginning of the tapering off of the wild fundraising we’ve seen in the last four years.”

So far, Democrats have slightly out-fundraised Republicans for federal office.

The website lets voters track how much money is being spent in races and who makes those contributions.