Democrat 2018 Midterm Spending Crushed GOP by $526 Million
The Center for Responsive Politics that tracks political spending revealed that Democrats outspent Republicans by $526 million in the 2018 midterms.
The final U.S. Federal Election Commission campaign disclosure reports revealed that $5.725 billion was spent by both major parties in 2018 midterms, substantially exceeding the $5.2 billion CRP preliminary estimates released in October. The Democrats gained a 22 percent advantage by spending $2.926 billion versus just $2.400 billion by the GOP.
Democrats outspent Republicans in 2018 for both houses of Congress, but the disparity was widest for House of Representative candidates, where the Democrats’ $932 million in spending was 50% more than the $632 million spent by Republicans. The $300 million more in spending helped Democrats gain 8.6% more votes to gain majority control of the House of Representative with a net 41-seat gain.
Democrats also outspent Republicans on Senate candidates by $600 million to $430 million, a 40% advantage. But Republicans gained a net two Senate seats to strengthen their majority control. Most analysts credit President Trump’s barnstorming America with 39 stadium-size campaign rallies in support of Republican candidates for the shocking election-day outperformance.
The campaign spending by party committees and declared partisan outside groups was similar with $1.279 billion by Democrats, compared to $1.247 billion by the GOP. But undisclosed so-called “dark money” spending of $81 million by liberal groups swamped the $43 million by conservative groups.
The mainstream media tend to argue that Democrats and liberals, as the advocates for social justice, are forced to collect more small contributions from the poor to be competitive with their “fat-cat” Republican opponents. But it was Democrats that enormously benefited from the 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court decision that removed the aggregate contribution limits for individuals during any two-year period.
But Williams College political science professor Darrel Paul commented after analyzing the richest 15% of congressional districts that “the big story of the 2018 election is the swing of the rich toward the Democrats.”
Of the top six individual political donors in 2018, four gave $218 million to Democrats and liberals, compared two that gave $168 million to Republicans and conservatives. Democrat candidates also pocketed $110.5 million more from contributors who gave between $2,700 and $9,999; $120.9 million more from contributors between $10,000 and $99,999; and $9 million more from contributors giving $100,000 or more.
The Democrats fundraising strategy of running 515 women candidates compared to 188 Republican women was wildly successful, with Democrats raising $383 million from women donors versus Republicans raising only $131 million from women.