So far this election cycle, outside groups, including those money-hungry Super PACs, have spent $641 million on races across the country. Yes, you read that right, $641 million.
Much of the attention has been focused on the portion of that staggering tab that has gone to fund a deluge of swing state ads aimed at swaying the presidential race. But what has gotten far less attention is the outsized spending on those critical down ballot races that will determine which party takes control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of next year. To date, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, outside interest groups have spent nearly $84 million dollars on House races this election cycle. On just the general election alone, the New York Times reports that outside groups have spent at least $38.5 million.
Groups backing Republicans aren’t responsible for all the donations. Convinced that their impact on the presidential race would be minimal, unions and other Democratic-leaning organizations have decided to instead open up their wallets to fund candidates running in competitive House races. According to the New York Times, Republican outside groups have spent about $20 million on the general election, while Democratic ones have spent about $18 million.
Still, despite the competitive spending, Democrats may not be able to overcome one thing: simple math. According to the Washington Post, the only way Democrats can take back the gavel from Speaker John Boehner is to win 24 “toss-up” seats and half of the 18 races characterized as “lean Republican.”