Big Money Did Not Lead to Big Wins This Election
In the recent election, millionaires like Donald Trump and Jeffery Katzenberg tried to grease the political wheels with their contributions toward “super PACs,” which can accept and spend huge amounts of money on political races. However, only three out of 10 of the most expensive Senate races were successful in placing a well-greased candidate into position, according to recent campaign data.
Candidates backed with outside money during this election did not necessarily have the upper hand. Out of the 46 races backed by more than $2 million, candidates supported by outside money lost 21 times and won just 16, with nine still pending. In the Florida Senate race, Republican Connie Mack outspent incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by over $4 million. Mack lost the race despite his deep-pocketed donors. The same thing happened in Illinois: outside groups spent $5 million trying to get Joe Walsh elected, versus the $500,000 his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, received. In the end, Duckworth won the race without breaking much of a sweat.
Representatives from the Campaign Finance Institute say that the outside money was only important up until a certain point. “Once you have substantial amounts of money on both sides and both candidates are well known in their districts,” said a spokesperson for CFI, “then the incremental effect of more money goes down.”