Outside Election Spending Doubles in Two Weeks


Outside spending on the election crossed a threshold on Thursday—a rather large one. Outside groups have spent more than $400 million this election season—a figure that has doubled in just the past two weeks, according to data from the Sunlight Foundation. As of Thursday morning, total outside spending was up to $424 million.

Right now, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leads the pack, with $23 million spent in the past five days. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is in second, at $9.7 million

Leading the non-campaign committee totals is Crossroads GPS, the 501(c)4 wing of an effort led by Republican operatives (including Karl Rove), at $3.99 million. It’s followed closely by its sister organization American Crossroads, a 527, at $2.37 million (here’s a good explainer about the relationship between the two groups, and how they differ). The National Education Association Advocacy Fund has been the third-biggest spender in the past five days, at $2.45 million.

The race drawing the most money in the past five days, at $5.5 million, is the Pennsylvania Senate duel between Pat Toomey (R) and Joe Sestak (D). The Washington State Senate race between Patty Murray (D) and Dino Rossi (R) has drawn $4.4 million in outside spending.

Sunlight’s “Follow the Unlimited Money” tracker is keeping close tabs on outside spending. It’s also a good place to see just how fast that spending is ramping up in the final days before the election; the total jumped up $10 million as I typed this post.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.