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House Candidates Who Spent More Money Won Their Elections 95% Of The Time

Congress Capitol Hill Money

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / www.flickr.com/tracy_olson

Now that most of the returns are in, it’s finally time to start evaluating how the money factored into the election with some more depth. There are still some outstanding races, as some elections are considered too close to call still, especially in California and Arizona.

But with most of the numbers in, we were able to compare the wins and losses to the amount of money spent on each race thanks to the resources at the centre for Responsive Politics.

Here’s the verdict. In 2012, the candidate who spent more money during the race won a whopping 95% of the time in the 429 house races with decisive conclusions, 406 races. 

In the Senate, that number is slightly lower. The candidate who spent more won only 80% of the time in the 33 Senate elections this cycle.

Some of the candidates who pulled out a win despite being outspent include Chris Murphy in Connecticut, Deb Fischer in Nebraska, and Dean Heller in Nevada. 

Also interesting is that this doesn’t even include outside independent spending, like money from Super PACs.

For the House, the rate of victory is also above the average incumbent re-election rate, 85% in 2010.

This could be one of the reasons why — despite an abysmal approval rating — the balance of Congress was essentially maintained. 

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