Despite all the attention on record spending by outside groups during the 2010 midterm campaign, a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute found that the huge sums had little effect on the outcome of the election.
Nonparty organizations reported spending more than $280 million, or 130 percent more money during the 2010 campaign than they did in 2008, according to the Institute. The figure eclipsed spending totals by the national political parties for the first time in recent memory.
But in the most competitive races across the country, spending by party and nonparty groups combined was roughly equal in support of Republican and Democratic candidates, a dynamic that suggests the electoral wave was roiling well ahead of any outside groups’ attempts to sway voters’ hearts and minds, the Institute said.
“Neither set of expenditures [party or nonparty spending] could be said to have tipped the electoral balance,” Institute researcher Brendan Glavin wrote in the report.
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