Interest money

Senate candidates getting the most special interest money

According to financial data compiled by OpenSecrets.

Why is this important: Super PACs, nonprofits, and party committees can pump unlimited amounts into key states and districts to boost a candidate or hurt an opponent.

  • While outside money has influenced politics and campaigns for decades, this year’s midterms could feature the most expense again.
  • The New York Times wrote: “The 2022 midterm elections were flooded with political money before the year even started.”

Between the lines: The numbers reflect the total amount of money, so far, special interest groups have spent both for or against these 10 candidates whose campaigns have received the most outside attention.

  • For example, while most of the $7.8 million spent on Republican JD Vance in Ohio supported his campaign, more than $1.5 million was spent against her.
  • Outside groups have spent over $8 million attacking Mehmet Oz in his bid to be the new US senator from Pennsylvania. Pat McCrory, another Republican running in North Carolina, is the only other candidate in the group to have received all negative spending, OpenSecrets found.
  • These groups do not give directly to applicants; instead, they spend their money on communications, advertising, and other unrelated expenses that indirectly help or hurt a candidate.

Go further: Even some who don’t get re-elected are getting outsized attention, including Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.).

  • His counterpart, Senator Raphael Warnock, is running for re-election this cycle, but they both rank in the top 10 for most attention and spending from outside groups.
  • All has not been good, however; special interest groups have spent nearly $2 million, so far, against Ossoff and Warnock, by OpenSecrets.