How much does a 694 vote victory cost? How about $12 million?
In what is likely the most expensive congressional race in Utah’s history, Democrat Ben McAdams and Republican Mia Love combined to spend $8.87 million dollars. Independent groups poured another $3.1 million into the race, pushing the total north of $12 million.
The race between McAdams and Love came down to the final day of vote counting when provisional ballots helped McAdams squeak past Love by just 694 votes. It was one of the closest congressional votes in the state’s history.
Outside groups aired scores of attack ads against both candidates in the final month of the campaign. Love was particularly stung by ads from two Democratic-affiliated groups focusing on the controversy surrounding her campaign improperly raising more than $1 million for a primary election that never happened.
During the final campaign finance reporting period, which covered October 18 to November 26, Love raised $946,000 in campaign cash and spent $1.16 million. During the same period, McAdams raised $470,000 and spent $630,000.