The total U.S.' spending on races during the 2022 midterm election cycle will exceed $16.7 billion, breaking the record of inflation-adjusted $13.7 billion spent in 2018, according to Bloomberg citing estimates from OpenSecrets, a nonprofit organization in the U.S.
Federal candidates and committees are expected to spend $8.9 billion as Republicans and Democrats fight over control of the narrowly divided House and Senate, while state candidates, party committees and ballot measure committees are on track to raise $7.8 billion.
"No other midterm election has seen as much money at the state and federal levels as the 2022 elections," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of OpenSecrets. "We're seeing record-breaking totals spent on elections up and down the ballot."
Competitive Republican primaries and significant 2021 spending in the wake of the Jan 6 insurrection contributed to the record-smashing totals seen earlier this year, according to OpenSecrets. Fundraising by federal candidates in 2021 was up $519 million from 2017, adjusted for inflation.
Democrats have raised more money than Republicans at the federal level this election cycle, but Republicans are spending more than Democrats as the party pushes to regain control of the U.S. House and Senate.
While both parties have their billionaires, Republicans have many more. Of the 25 top donors this cycle, 18 are Republican, according to OpenSecrets, and they have outspent Democrats by $200 million.
Five of the 10 most expensive congressional races this election cycle are all U.S. Senate races – Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin. In those five states alone, $1.8 billion has already been spent by campaigns and outside groups.
Outside groups seek to sway voters for or against their preferred candidates targeting battleground states that could determine control of Congress. Outside groups spent about $1.9 billion to influence federal elections through Oct 31, breaking the record of inflation-adjusted $1.6 billion in the 2018 midterm.