Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Lesson: Biggest Spenders Are Biggest Winners -

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Lesson: Biggest Spenders Are Biggest Winners -

Article excerpt

SPEND MORE, WIN more. For congressional contenders, it was a rule to live by this year. Nine of 10 candidates who were able to spend more than their opponents walked away victorious.

The large House freshman class was living proof.

Republican Jon Fox kept his House seat in a suburb of Philadelphia by a mere 10 votes in unofficial returns after outspending his Democratic challenger 2-to-1 and beginning the final three weeks of the election with a $370,000 advantage in cash on hand. Georgia's Saxby Chambliss, another freshman locked in a tight race, emerged with a victory after outspending his Democratic opponent 4-to-1. Rhode Island Democrat Patrick Kennedy had an easier re-election after outspending his challenger $1.1 million to $12,400. But Chicago's Michael Flanagan, a "giant killer" in 1994 when he toppled Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., found himself on the short side of the money - and the vote. Flanagan was ousted by a Democrat who outspent him 2-to-1. And North Carolina lost two Republican freshmen, including Fred Heineman, a former police chief from Raleigh, who was outspent by more than $150,000 by eventual winner David Price, the Democrat whom Heineman ousted two years earlier. In another ouster, Republican Chris Cannon outspent Democratic incumbent William Orton about 3-to-1 to capture a seat in Utah. Republicans were quick to cite their money advantage in many races as a key reason why they maintained control of Congress despite a $35 million campaign by unions designed to aid Democrats. "Our members went out and raised the resources," said Rep. Bill Paxon of New York, who was chairman of the House GOP fund-raising committee. He said the committee had increased its aid to candidates sixfold - to $32 million - this election, and Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., raised more than $100 million on his own for candidates. With a half-dozen races still undecided Thursday, a computer analysis of election returns and Federal Election Commission records shows that House candidates who headed into the final three weeks with the most in combined spending and cash on hand won 93 percent of the time. …

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