Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Election 2010's Battle over Campaign Dollars

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Election 2010's Battle over Campaign Dollars

Article excerpt

So far, the GOP has a considerable edge. Its benefactors are writing checks like there's no tomorrow, allowing the party to fund campaign ads in states once thought safe for Democrats.

With little more than three weeks until the midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans are in a ferocious fight over the most important issue in the campaign: money.

Not taxes or deficits or bailouts, but the cash pouring in to both parties and being doled out to candidates around the country.

So far, the GOP has a considerable edge. It's corporate and conservative interest group benefactors are writing checks like there's no tomorrow, allowing the party to fund campaign ads in many more races than might otherwise have been the case - including those once thought safe for Democrats.

Analyzing reported spending, the Washington Post finds that Republicans have spent at least $100,000 in 77 different congressional races (nearly twice the number of seats they need to gain control of the House), compared with 43 races in which Democrats have spent that much.

Looked at across regions of the country, Republicans and their supporters are outspending their Democratic counterparts by 53 percent, the newspaper reports: $74.6 million to $39.7 million, based on Federal Election Commission filings. At the same time, millionaire and billionaire candidates - Republicans Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Linda McMahon among them - are digging into their personal pocketbooks to battle their opponents on the airwaves.

Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling to catch up - in some cases performing a sort of political triage as they cut back on ad buys in some races.

"The party strongly denies it's abandoning these candidates, some of whom are benefiting from Democratic-leaning outside groups that are spending on their behalf," the Associated Press reports. "But the shifting of resources - along with analysis of the parties' spending and interviews with Republican and Democratic strategists - paints a clear picture of the damage-control effort. …

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