• 2018 congressional midterm elections most expensive in US history: Study

The 2018 US midterm congressional elections, which will determine whether Democrats or Republicans gain the majority in Congress, is projected to become the most expensive election campaign in US history.

The November 6 elections are estimated to cost a record $5.2 billion in campaign spending, around $1.5 billion more than the 2014 midterm votes, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) said Wednesday.

The historic increase in spending is driven by the Democratic Party's strong desire to win back majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, a tall task that requires them to overpower President Donald Trump and his favorite candidates in Republican-leaning states.

The current minority party has managed to rake in huge sums from small donors and women infuriated by the election of Trump. The minority party has also attracted major super PAC donations from billionaires who oppose Trump.

Additionally, there are more candidates challenging incumbents than in recent congressional elections. There are also more open-seats races where no incumbent is running.

According to CRP, the current Democratic candidates for both congressional chambers have raised a combined total of $1.2 billion, much more than their Republican rivals’ $790 million.

Of that, $310 million was raised from small donors compared to the $95 million donated to the Republican side in the same fashion.

Most of the money is donated through the liberal fundraising hub ActBlue, which provides nearly every Democratic Party candidate with a platform to raise money.

The firm disclosed to the Huffington Post that it had processed $1.5 billion in contributions from nearly 5 million unique donors in the 2018 election cycle, over two times the amount during the 2016 general elections.

Moreover, Trump’s 2016 victory against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton despite accusations of misogyny and sexual assault ignited a women’s movement that has led to record donations this year.

While female voters have historically donated to political campaigns at much lower rates, CRP data shows that the trend has radically changed in 2018.

So far, women have donated a total of $398 million in disclosed contributions.

One reason, according to CRP, is the fact that women tend to donate more frequently to female candidates and this year there are more women running for seats.

There is also a huge partisan split between female donors, as Democrats have pocketed $308 million in female donations versus $90 million for Republicans.

"You don't need to be a political analyst to say that a lot of this is driven by rage," Sarah Bryner, the center's research director said of the surging donations to Democrats.

Democrats have also received a shot in the arm from their billionaire backers.Last month, Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City, donated more than $47 million to super PACs supporting Democrats.

Tom Steyer, a hedge-fund billionaire who encourages Trump’s impeachment, donated more than $9 million to his super PACs supporting Democrats in October.

Overall, the 10 best-funded Democratic super PACs raised $106 million last month, compared to $68 million raised by the top 10 Republican super PACs.

Courtesy: Press TV

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Nov 01, 2018 14:19 UTC
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