Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Money Is Everything: Two Florida Races on the Top Ten Lists for Congressional Spending

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As we well know, money is power when it comes to politics and winning campaigns.  Hence the reason we see the spending cap being pushed higher and higher with each passing election.  This year has fallen directly in line with that trend, as the Center for Responsive Politics is predicting total election spending to reach $5.8 billion.

Although the majority of this money will obviously be spent on the presidential race, a large portion of this year’s monumental spending has come out of the Congressional races.  House and Senate spending is estimated to reach around $1.82 billion, with $1.1 billion of that being spent on House races alone.

Among the most expensive Congressional races in the country are those for Florida’s 18th District between Allen West and Patrick Murphy, as well as the Florida Senate race between Bill Nelson and Connie Mack.  

Not surprisingly, the race between Republican incumbent Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy ranks as the third most expensive House race in the nation.  This race garnered national attention over the past few months and will likely go down in history as one of the nastiest congressional races to date. Both candidates have launched vicious attack ads at one another, turning much of the focus of the election onto their opponents pasts rather than their ability to serve in office.

Democrats have pinpointed this race as a “must-win” for their efforts to regain the House, while Republicans are enthusiastic about keeping the freshman Tea Party favorite in office.  Both candidates have received widespread funding from individuals and interest groups from across the nation.

The top ten most expensive House races of this year include:

  1. Minnesota District 06…………… $20,819,409
  2. Ohio District 08……………………. $20,001,287
  3. Florida District 18…………………$17,299,333
  4. Connecticut District 5…………….$11,846,030
  5. California District 30……………..$10,388,894
  6. Texas District 33……………………$8,113,601
  7. California District 33……………..$7,817,931
  8. New York District 27…………….$7,226,255
  9. Virginia District  07……………….$7,226,255
  10. 10. Washington District 01………….$6,915,275

 

The race for the open Florida Senate seat ranks 10th among the most expensive Senate races in the nation.  This race, between the two-term democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and U.S. Representative Connie Mack, has garnered a lot of attention in recent weeks, as what used to be considered a sure victory for Nelson has become an extremely close race.  Connie Mack had been severely lacking in fundraising dollars compared to his opponent, allowing the Nelson campaign to run circles around him in campaign advertising. However, after the first and only televised Senate debate in mid-October, Mack seemed to prove himself as a viable candidate. He has since seen a huge increase in national fundraising support, including large donations and spending initiatives from the Republican super PAC, American Crossroads.

The top ten most expensive Senate races of this year include:

  1. Massachusetts……………$62,169,488
  2. Texas……………………….$52,419,710
  3. Connecticut……………….$50,105,888
  4. Missouri…………………..$30,779,617
  5. Ohio………………………..$29,672,668
  6. Pennsylvania…………….$27,081,461
  7. Virginia…………………..$26,900,476
  8. Wisconsin………………..$24,825,397
  9. Florida…………………….$21,864,908
  10. Indiana……………………$18,927,043

 

*Top 10 Lists found on OpenSecrets.org.

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