Today’s post breaks down the independent political expenditures filed with the FEC over the weekend. In general, Saturday and Sunday are very quiet disclosure days. Few groups file spending, and the disclosures themselves are generally low-dollar amounts. This past weekend, however, has departed from this trend. Over Saturday and Sunday there were lots of disclosures and big-ticket spending across a large number of elections. Since we’re perpetually dealing with small sample sizes and unknown campaign finance territory from which to extrapolate trends or predict spending levels, it is nearly impossible to know if this weekend’s heavy spending is an outlier or the new normal. Regardless of the wider movement in spending levels, $34.6 million has been disclosed in the last 5 days. For reference, groups spent $117 million over 31 days in August. The spending rate per day in through the first third of September has been approximately $400K than the daily spending rate in August.
Quick hits for September 8th & 9th:
The Roundup: $6.1 million disclosed by 9 groups influencing over 30 federal elections
The Big Spender: National Republican Congressional Committee dropped $4.1 million on media products and survey research negatively targeting 24 Democrat candidates for the House in 15 states. NRCC spent heavily in New York, California, Arizona, North Carolina and Iowa – however many of these states contain some of the most expensive media markets in the country, so the actual ‘legs’ of each dollar disclosures is, in part, dependent upon the state in which it is spent. In past post’s we’ve covered the concepts of the marginal elasticities in spending (1 dollar buys more airtime in Montana than in Florida) that makes it necessary in the state level to look at the context of the spending, not just the raw disclosure amounts. So far in this cycle, NRCC has disclosed $8.2 million in spending supporting Republican candidates for the House.
Cashing In: National Media Research Planning & Placement earned a hefty $3.2 million for providing media products and services opposing Democrat candidates for the House and Senate. NMRPP is a frequent client of the NRCC and National Republican Senatorial Committee groups.
House or Senate? The House, by a large margin. Groups disclosed a monumental $4.1 million of spending on House races and only $166K on the Senate. Disclosure amounts targeting House contests has increased in recent days – House spending has eclipsed Senate spending in 3 of the last 4 days.
The Hotspot: New York. Elections in the Empire State absorbed $933K in outside spending over the weekend. The focus of IE groups on larger more populous states (California, New York, Texas) has increased over the past week or so.
The High Striker: The Republicans. Republican-backed groups spent over $4.2 million over the weekend compared to $1.8 million by Democrat-aligned organizations. Today’s high striker ratio is $2.3 to 1 in favor of the Reps.
In all its glory, the independent expenditure summary table: