Pro-Republican groups spend big on key races

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:07pm EDT

Campaign supporters and volunteers cheer for their candidates before the last of four debates between Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul at the Kentucky Education Television network headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky October 25, 2010. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Campaign supporters and volunteers cheer for their candidates before the last of four debates between Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul at the Kentucky Education Television network headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky October 25, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/John Sommers II

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans are pouring more last-minute cash into tight Senate races than their rivals as some opinion polls show Democrats may not do as badly as expected in Tuesday's congressional elections.

Data compiled by a non-partisan election watchdog and Democratic organizers shows substantial late campaign spending by pro-Republican groups on Senate contests in Colorado, Kentucky and California.

Those three states are among the 10 that Republicans must win to gain control of the 100-seat Senate.

Figures from the Wesleyan Media Project, an academic group that tracks political advertising in every U.S. media market, show roughly equal spending by Republicans and Democrats in other important Senate races, including Washington state and Nevada.

Americans will vote for 37 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as state governors and lawmakers and local officials.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is not up for re-election until 2012 but Republicans are casting Tuesday's vote as a referendum on his leadership as the economy recovers slowly from recession and unemployment stays high.

Experts expect Republicans to win control of the House and to gain seats in the Senate but not enough to wrest control from the Democrats.

A surge in spending is typical in the final days of U.S. election campaigns, often targeted based on last-minute poll results. But some non-partisan election monitors are skeptical about how much influence the deluge of spending and advertising will have on voters.

Veteran pollster Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center said most voters' minds are already made up by now.

"There is such a glut of material (that) a lot of it is going to get lost," he said.

Figures given to Reuters by Democratic organizers show that, from August through late October, independent Republican political committees -- groups not affiliated with official local and national party organizations -- outspent Democratic rivals in Senate contests by a ratio of more than 3-to-1.

While Democrats have received less money from these independent groups, experts say they made up the difference with funds from official local and national party organizations throughout the year.

SPENDING IN TIGHT RACES

* In Nevada, where polls show Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in a dead heat with Republican challenger Sharron Angle, late campaign spending is running roughly equal, according to the Wesleyan and Democratic organizers' figures.

* In Colorado, where polls show incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet closing the gap on conservative Tea Party challenger Ken Buck, Republican groups have poured in last-minute funding by a ratio of more than 2-to-1 over Democrats.

* In Kentucky, where polls show Tea Party favorite Rand Paul has lost some ground to Democrat Jack Conway, last-minute pro-Republican spending has been higher than groups backing Conway by a 2-to-1 margin.

* In California, Wesleyan's figures show incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer had a more than 2-to-1 funding advantage over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina through her own and other official Democratic Party groups. But pro-Fiorina groups not affiliated with official party organizations have outspent pro-Boxer groups by a ratio of at least 5-to-1.

* In Pennsylvania, Democratic figures show pro-Republican groups greatly outspending pro-Democratic groups late in the campaign. Polls in Pennsylvania show Democrat Joe Sestak closing in on the one-time heavy Republican favorite, former Representative Pat Toomey.

* In Delaware, figures from Democrats show Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, whose official campaign has raised substantially more than Democrat Chris Coons, has received a tiny amount of support -- totaling around $300,000 -- from right-wing and pro-Tea Party groups.

The figures show that even though Coons trails O'Donnell in official campaign cash, he has had no additional support from independent pro-Democratic groups -- a reflection of the assessment that O'Donnell's consistently poor polling numbers suggest she will probably lose on Tuesday.

(Editing by John O'Callaghan)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Trooth wrote:
I would save my money and not spend a dime in California. Let the Democrats have it. Their track record their speaks for itself. When I explain why I don’t vote Democrat I point to California, and West Virginia, states that the Democrats have run in to the ground for decades.

Oct 27, 2010 7:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GeyeJo wrote:
Yes, but it would be great to chop off one of the liberal heads in this state. Boxer has been laying low and needs to go. She is a career politician since I was in middle school. If Fiorina is able to knock her out, it bodes well for the rest of the country.

Oct 27, 2010 10:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ugg wrote:
Millionaires above all people, know you can’t live on less than $ 100,000. per year for the necessities of life in this day and age. They say when you put a guy in jail his health goes right down the tubes. Shortly, he is seeking medical help daily.
Lack of money puts the working class in this same category. It’s all in-activity. You say, keep working. Doctors say too much of a good thing will kill you. Many honest sincere and well meaning people hate the Obama stimulus, they think its only intention was to create jobs. The truth of the matter is; our business, jobs, ownership of owed debt, hourly production of products necessary to sustain life. In other words, every one of us has daily needs for survival and it was in danger of tumbling like a house of cards, not just home owners were in trouble. Visualize America as a large ship on the planet earth. Now visualize the top financial engines powering this ship. Now visualize many holes being put into this ship leaking water onto those powerful engines flooding the ship. If you are smart enough to understand this so far, you will see the danger of this ship becoming flooded to the extent of sinking like the economy of the late 1929 into the 30’s. We all look at things different with different interest. I hope some of you will understand the stimulus was really intended to keep the ship from sinking because of over productivity and sales of homes, vehicle and every other commodity brought about by the abuse of credit by banks, politicians of all parties, greedy buyers trying to speculate, hungry decent people trying to get into their own home, greedy business men in general that were involved in every aspect of this upper exchange of wealth. Today, many working class people have no clue as to what took place in this money debacle and they are getting ready to vote–that may be another debacle. It’s not the government fault. It’s the fault of profiteers–domestic, international, business, freelancers, and people pushing their opinion who mean well but still have no clue as to what took place that brought down our financial system. The Oil Companies, have found out that capitalism operates under Keynesian economics, this is where you borrow, buy and pay off later with inflated money, this is the only thing that keeps the capitalistic system alive, without it working this way, capitalism would die according to John Maynard Keynes the father of economics. If you understand all of this so far you will understand that Obama is not a socialist but a realist. He is for making things work better for business and labor. Business will always tell you, their obligation is to the stock holders. Obama’s obligation is to all American Citizens including stock holders. Incidentally, the reason for the high cost of oil is—VP Cheney probably told his OPEC buddies to raise oil prices, because our capitalistic system will be giving you inflated dollars later on. Thanks Cheney.
I say, let us take care of everyone including, stock holder, workers, and retirees. There is enough for everyone. Find the minipulators and theives, put them out of business.That is it.
One more thing; look at how many years you believe you still have to live—now change the years into months. This helps you see the grand reaper is closer then you thought.
When you look at how many months you have remaining to still breathe here on earth, now ask yourself is it worth hoarding and hoarding and hoarding?— I don’t think so.

Oct 28, 2010 6:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Slaying of a journalist