THE PLAT­INUM-PLATED ELEC­TION

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Yes, the cost of the midterm elec­tions are in the record-break­ing, bil­lion-dol­lar realm. Tal­ly­ing the to­tal is a very tricky business, how­ever. The Cen­ter for Re­spon­sive Pol­i­tics pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated the 2014 elec­tion cy­cle would weigh in as a $4 bil­lion event but have since tweaked the fig­ure. The watch­dog group con­sid­ered some re­cently re­vealed dis­clo­sures and ad­justed their pro­jec­tion mod­els, now pre­dict­ing the cost to run to about $3.67 bil­lion — just inch­ing by the cost of the 2010 midterm elec­tions, which cost $3.63 bil­lion.

“That fig­ure takes into ac­count only spend­ing dis­closed to the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion and does not in­clude funds spent early in the cy­cle — more than 30 days be­fore a pri­mary or 60 days be­fore Nov. 4 — by out­side groups on so-called is­sue ads that don’t ask the pub­lic to vote one way or another, or on cer­tain other ac­tiv­i­ties,” re­ports an­a­lysts Viveca No­vak and Russ Choma. “There is no re­li­able ac­count­ing of such un­re­ported spend­ing, but we es­ti­mate it is likely well over $100 mil­lion.”

Runoffs that could drag into Jan­uary could also in­crease the price tag, they say. And the party break­down?

“Team Red (all Repub­li­can can­di­dates, par­ties, com­mit­tees and con­ser­va­tive out­side groups) will spend $1.75 bil­lion on this elec­tion. Team Blue (all Demo­cratic can­di­dates, par­ties, com­mit­tees and lib­eral out­side groups) will spend a to­tal of $1.64 bil­lion — still a sig­nif­i­cant amount, but defini­tively less than the con­ser­va­tive side,” the an­a­lysts re­port.

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