By David Wright
The 2018 midterm election will go down as the most expensive in US history.
A week out from Election Day, spending to influence congressional midterm elections already has surged to a record-smashing $4.7 billion, according to a new tally of activity by candidates, political parties and their outside allies.
Democratic donors are fueling the dramatic increase, according to the analysis by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. It predicts spending will surpass $5.2 billion by November 6 — a 35% jump over the 2014 midterms and the largest leap in at least two decades.
In all, Democratic House candidates have raised more than $951 million, far exceeding the $637 million that went to their Republican rivals, according to the center’s tally.
Money raised directly by candidates goes further than funds collected by outside groups because television stations must provide candidates the lowest available advertising rate in the weeks leading up to the election. Other groups active in the midterms, such as super PACs, do not qualify for the lower rates.
The Democratic candidates’ lopsided fundraising advantage also is playing out in the most competitive races.