Billions of dollars are being spent on the midterm elections in 2022 — more than $9.3 billion — up from $7.1 billion spent four years ago.
Money is being lavished on TV, radio, and digital ads for U.S. House, Senate, gubernatorial, and local races.
Political parties, candidates, political action committees, and outside spenders have already poured $4.8 billion into the races, and another $4.5 billion will be spent in the last six weeks leading up to Election Day, The Washigton Examiner reported.
"We're seeing much more money, more candidates and more political division," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of OpenSecrets, a campaign-finance watchdog. "Spending is surging across the board this midterm cycle, fueling a polarization vortex that shows no signs of slowing."
Senate candidates' spending is double that of 2018, while House spending is up by 30%, The Washington Examiner reported.
Democrats have more cash on hand: $1.3 billion combined, compared to $1.1 billion for Republican candidates.
"One big element here is that Senate Republican primaries were incredibly expensive," said Sarah Bryner, research director at OpenSecrets. "There's just been a ton of money at the beginning of the election, prior to even getting to the general."
Senate races are the most expensive, with the Pennsylvania race between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman topping the list with $153.8 million spent so far, followed by Ohio with $121.5 million in spending to date.
The huge spending on political ads reflects the urgency of both parties to gain power in Washington and across the country, CNBC reported. Democrats control the House and Senate but only by slim margins.
The Senate is split 50-50, and Cook Political Report labels seats held by Sens. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., as toss-ups. Democrats have a nine-seat majority in the House, with the Cook report projecting 31 House seats being up for grabs.
Republicans are favored to net at least five seats and take control of the House in November, while their chances of flipping the Senate are considered lower, The Washington Examiner reported.
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