Thursday was a very big day for independent expenditures. Six groups disclosed more than $1 million in outside political spending and 13 dropped more than $200K. As the pundits predict, spending from outside groups will certainly increase as we election day approaches. It is unclear, however, weather elections will experience gradual or a step-change spending increases. Despite yesterday’s heavy spending, daily spending averages on the group level are not abnormally high. It appears that high spending days are driven by the number of groups disclosing on the upper end of the levels we’ve already seen.
The Roundup: $15.1 million disclosed by 25 groups targeting over 30 federal elections
The Big Spender: Two groups - US Chamber of Commerce and Priorities USA Action - dropped nearly $3 million on Thursday. USCC spent $2.92 million on media buys supporting Senate candidate Lisa Linge (R-HI) opposing three Democrat hopefuls for the Senate Martin Heinrich (NM), Tim Kaine (VA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI). Prorities USA Action, the Super PAC supporting President Obama’s bid for a second term in the White House, disclosed $2.8 million for TV and digital ad buys opposing Mitt Romney.
Cashing In: Independent expenditure media fat cats made out like bandits on Thursday. Waterfront Strategies made $3.14 million from 3 separate left-aligned groups. Great American Media, Mundy Katowitz Media and Craft Media Digital pocketed $2.3 million, $2.1 million and $2 million respectively.
House or Senate? The Senate. Focus on key Senate races escalated yesterday’s upper house spending to $7.7 million. House spending was not far behind with six groups targeting $4.4 million on contests for the lower house.
The Hotspot: Virginia. The Old Dominion attracted more disclosures than any other state, topping $2.4 million. All of the cash flowed into the Senate race between former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and former Senator George Allen. In addition, the Senate elections in Wisconsin ($1.2 million) and Indiana ($1.5) experienced significant outside spending.
The High Striker: The Democrats. Left-leaning groups collectively disclosed more than $9.2 million on Thursday. Right-aligned organizations spent $5.9 million furthering GOP efforts. Today’s High Striker Ratio - for every dollar disclosed by the Reps, the Dems dropped over $1.5.
And below, all of Thursday’s disclosures in one easy summary table. Check it.