Money Was the Deciding Factor in Most 2014 Elections

Think money doesn't matter in politics? Think again.

In the 2014 Congressional races the vast majority of the candidates who spent the most won.

PBS Newshour runs down the numbers:

  • 94% of the biggest spenders in House races won, which is up slightly from 2012
  • 82% of the biggest spenders in Senate races were victorious, up from 76% in 2012


We already know that the $4 billion spent on this midterm election was more than any other midterm in history. It was the most on congressional elections ever, including during a presidential year. 

What that means is, as one of us noted on NewsHour Monday night money, more specifically who spends the most, is about as good a predictor that there is of who will win a race. Those numbers, by the way, are pretty close to the incumbent reelection rates.

Top 5 most expensive Senate races overall:

  • North Carolina Senate: $113 million
  • Colorado Senate: $97 million
  • Iowa Senate: $85 million
  • Kentucky Senate: $78 million
  • Georgia Senate: $66 million

Top 10 most expensive Senate races per voter:

  • Alaska Senate: $121
  • New Hampshire Senate: $50
  • Iowa Senate: $39
  • Colorado Senate: $27
  • Arkansas Senate: $26
  • Kentucky Senate: $24
  • South Dakota Senate: $23
  • North Carolina Senate: $16
  • Montana Senate: $15
  • Kansas Senate: $14