Money Well Spent? The Five Races with the Most PAC Money

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Other Races of Note

Supporters sing 'God Bless America' during a watch party for U.S. Senate candidate, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chesterfield, Missouri. Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill retained her seat in the U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

– The most expensive race for the House was in Ohio’s 16th District. Two veteran representatives were forced to face off because of redistricting. Both Jim Renacci (R) and Betty Sue Sutton (D) received over $5 million in help from outside sources. Renacci won.

-In the Missouri Senate race, outside groups spent over $5 million opposing Todd Akin and over $1 million opposing Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. McCaskill won. Probably less a victory for big money than a loss for biggest gaffe: Akin became nationally infamous after his “legitimate rape” comment.

-In California’s 15th District, two Democrats faced off because of a new state law requiring the two most popular primary candidates to run against each other. Eighty-one-year-old incumbent Pete Stark was challenged by 31-year-old Eric Swalwell. reports, “56 percent of Stark’s campaign contributions came from out-of-state and a very high 66 percent came from PACs (compared to Swalwell’s 10 percent).” Swalwell won.

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  • Aaron Rosier

    something is wrong here… i think,
    so Rmoneys total is $118.5 + $329 = $447 million (but where does the $336 million go?)
    and Obama(tm)’s is $540 + $182 + X = $142 million ??

    could someone clarify this for me? because right now, the numbers look a bit jarbled

  • Anonymous

    directly raised vs super pac.

  • Legacy

    David beat the rich Goliath. One should never forget the strength of the american people.

  • Emlyn Addison

    The Obama and Romney campaigns should donate all of their surplus election funds to hurricane Sandy relief. Do the right thing and enough with all this silliness.

  • Laurel Stuart

    Alan West Republican Incumb. 17 million, Challenger Patrick Murphy 4 million. Winner — Patrick Murphy, Officially as of this a.m.

  • Pat

    The numbers at the top are outside money. The amounts raised and spent directly by the candidate’s campaigns, mentioned in the explanation, are not “outside money” – the point of the article being about the influence of “outside money”, not total spending.

  • Howard Owen

    So perhaps Citizens United isn’t such a disaster after all? I think message matters more than money. Apparently elections aren’t just media driven shouting matches.

  • Sarah Mahoney Matteson

    In these 5 races ALONE 711.6 million dollars was spent purely to get a candidate elected. our elected officials spend this kind of cash to self promote. What if they took that money and invested it in Education? Veterans? Small business?

  • Happycat

    If you believe this than hopefully you voted for the candidate who truly has concern for all of those issue.

  • Phoenixchick

    I don’t know if one can definitively state that the money was a/the factor for the winning candidates. Perhaps they would have won without. All we can say is that it did not help the losing candidate sufficiently. I am glad that the victors above won. Are there any Republican candidates who did win who got outside money? What were the poll numbers for these candidates before the large infusions of cash?

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad Murdoch is not from our state Ohio. We have a good one in Sherrod Brown.

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad Sherrod Brown. He is a good man.

  • Alma Morgan

    I am glad he won.

  • Alma Morgan

    Good for Timothy Kaine.

  • Alma Morgan

    Unbelievable. That’s a lot of money to spend to get your own way.

  • Kathryn

    People — get your sling shots. The giant is dumber than we thought!

  • ward riggins

    What Sarah M. Matteson said. How is this ignored by everyone! This is not democracy in action. Why can’t we fix this?