The Price of Admission to the House and Senate

The 2010 elections at a glance: Yes, incumbents have the financial advantage.


Read also: The rest of this special report, a note on sourcing, and MoJo‘s daily political coverage.

How much does it really cost to run for a House or Senate seat?

Total raised for 2010 election: $1.27 billion
House candidates: $706.8 million
Senate candidates: $568.1 million

Congressional incumbent reelection rate, 2008: 94%

Average spent by House race winners, 2008:
$1.4 million
Average raised by challengers, 2010: $166,000
Average raised by incumbents, 2010: $1 million

Average spent by Senate race winners, 2008:
$8.5 million
Average raised by challengers, 2010: $519,000
Average raised by incumbents, 2010: $9.4 million

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

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THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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