LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Campaign Spending 2018 – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Down 1 from a week ago

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on three polls, ranging from 38% (Gallup) to 46% (Rasmussen). The third poll had it at 45%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% today, which is 10 points higher than his approval rating.

Based on data compiled by Open Secrets (numbers rounded)

  • 2018 was the most expensive midterm election ever. At least $5.2 billion was spent, which is 35% higher than 2014, the last midterm election. Outside groups spent over $1.3 billion this year, which was up 61% compared to four years ago.
  • The combined $181 million spent by candidates and outside groups in this year’s Florida Senate race (Republican Rick Scott vs. Democrat Bill Nelson) broke the record for the most money ever spent in a U.S. Senate or House race. The candidates spent a total of $91 million and outside groups pumped in $90 million.
  • Over $100 million was spent in each of five Senate elections by candidates and outside groups combined. In addition to Florida, they were: Missouri ($119 million), Texas ($108 million), Arizona ($105 million) and Indiana ($104 million). The Nevada race came close ($99 million).
  • The 2018 Texas Senate election (Republican Ted Cruz vs. Democrat Beto O’Rourke) was the most expensive Senate contest in terms of spending by just the candidates ($94 million).
  • The most expensive non-special U.S. House election in American history was this year’s race in California 39 (Democrat Gil Cisneros vs. Republican Young Kim). A total of $35 million was raised or spent ($21 million by candidates and $14 million by outside groups).
  • Outside groups put $20 million into the House race in California 48 (Republican Dana Rohrabacher vs. Democrat Harley Rouda). That’s the most outside money ever spent in a non-special House race.
  • The most money spent by a group on 2018 campaigns: The Congressional Leadership Fund, which is tied to the GOP House leadership, spent $138 million.
  • The most money spent by a single-election Super PAC in the 2018 campaigns: The pro-Rick Scott New Republican PAC spent $30 million.
  • Miriam and Sheldon Adelson gave $113 million to federal candidates and groups, breaking all records for contributions by a household in a single election cycle.


Which losing 2016 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination had the most money spent on his or her behalf (combined campaign and outside group spending)?

(See answer below)


Ted Cruz. His presidential campaign raised $93 million and another $90 million was spent on his behalf by allied Super PACs and independent groups. Total for Cruz: $183 million.

In second place was Jeb Bush. His presidential campaign raised $35 million and another $125 million was spent on his behalf by allied Super PACs and independent groups. Total for Bush: $161 million.

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