As the campaign heads into its final weeks, Republican outside interest groups are outspending their Democratic counterparts two-to-one, Federal Election Commission reports tracked this week by Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money show.
As Sunlight reported last week, outside spending has accelerated since Sept. 7, when federal law requires that all outside groups making political expenditures disclose them to the FEC. Expenditures hit $102 million between Oct. 5 and Oct 11, with House races getting the most attention from the outside spenders, and GOP candidates only having a slight advantage.
But so far this week, Republican groups have outmatched Democratic ones by far. Since Friday, FEC filings show pro-Republican spending at $54 million, compared to just $26 million going to support Democrats.
Sunlight will have a more detailed analysis Friday, but as of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, notable findings include:
- Huge buys from the outside spending combine created by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and former President George W. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove: Political non-profit Crossroads GPS and it sister super PAC, American Crossroads, with a total $20.3 million in expenditures filed since Sunday. American Crossroads posted a huge $11.1 million expenditure to oppose President Barack Obama.
- Wisconsin's open Senate seat continues to draw outside cash as Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin faces off against former Gov.Tommy Thompson. Groups like Crossroads GPS, Women Vote! and Service Employees International Union have dropped more than $2.4 million into the race since Monday, bringing the total outside spending to $23.1 million — making it the third biggest magnet for outside spending in the country, including the contest for president.
- The race in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District appears to be heating up. Republican Andrew Roraback received a $1.1 million boost from the Government Integrity Fund, while Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put in $250,000 for Democrat Elizabeth Esty. The expenditures this week alone make up almost half the total of outside spending in the race.