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Tag Archive: House Majority PAC

Reading the big green tea leaves in Sanford-Colbert Busch race

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(Updated 4:45 p.m. ET)

Despite his capacity for self-sabotage and the public shunning of his own party, some well-heeled Republicans continue to believe that it's worth investing in former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's comeback bid in Tuesday's special election for a vacant congressional seat in the Palmetto State.

During the last three weeks of the campaign, the unexpectedly competitive contest in a heavily GOP district between Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch has become a magnet for big political spenders. Sanford, attempting a redemption run after a headline-making sex scandal that cost him his ...

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Democratic establishment betting heavily on Colbert Busch upset in S.C.

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The shifting political tides in a coastal South Carolina congressional district are vividly apparent from the first look at last-minute big donations to Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, rival candidates for the House seat left vacant when Republican Tim Scott was promoted to the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

Under federal law, any donations of $1,000 or more made during the final days before the May 7 election must be reported to the Federal Election Commission. Over the weekend, both campaigns filed their first reports, and they showed the late money breaking strongly in favor of Democrat ...

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Primary Spending Strategies May Have Shifted General Election Outcomes

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In the two weeks since Election Day, Sunlight -- along with many others -- have examined the impact of outside money. In competitive House seats we found no statistically observable relationship between the outside spending and the likelihood of victory, and found no evidence of spending impacting outcomes for the Senate either. It's important to note that those who contributed to the $1.4 billion spent by outside groups still matters, though. As Executive Director Ellen Miller notes: "Even if their candidates lost, the influence bought by America's new class of mega donors will remain." Here, we find some indication that outside spending in primary races may have had implications for general election outcomes this cycle. In the competitive races where there was significant primary activity by outside spenders, as compared to a baseline in which parties retaining control of seats they held in the 112th Congress, Democrats over-performed while Republicans significantly underperformed. Furthermore, we found notable involvement by outside Democratic groups in Republican primaries which may have played a roll, while finding little evidence of parallel Republican activity. We looked at the 90 races in the House that were competitive as of September 6th, according to the Cook Political Report (Likely, Lean or Tossup). Of these competitive seats, in the 19 where there was more than $10,000 in outside Democratic spending, Democrats won 17, a success rate of 89%. This was despite the fact that 12 of those 19 seats were previously held by Republicans. In contrast, of the 25 seats where there was over $10,000 in outside Republican spending, Republicans only won 11, or 44%. 17 of these seats had been held by Republicans prior to the election.

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Four House races where outside money may have pushed the needle

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   Two standing congressmen, Joe Heck and Reid Ribble, who were helped by outside money

Outside spending can have its biggest impact in smaller races. And in a number of contests for congressional seats where there was a significant money advantage for one side, independent expenditures seemed to help push the needle.

Here are four members of the 113th Congress whose chances of winning increased after receiving a significant boost from outside nonprofits and super PACs attacking their opponents or praising them. 

At some point in the fall, for each of these winners, the non-partisan Cook Political Report shifted its ratings ...

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Eleven House races drawing 11th-hour outside money

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Some of the freshmen in races targeted by late infusions of outside cash. From L-R: Allen West, R-Fla; Joe Walsh, R-Ill.; Francisco Canseco, R-Texas.

It doesn't take a whole lot of money to make a big difference in some House races, and as the days dwindle down to hours before polls close on Nov. 6, some outside interest groups are trying to do just that. Sunlight's weekly survey of independent campaign expenditures found that some congressional contests that hadn't previously registered on our radar were suddenly drawing lots of outside cash late in the campaign. 

Seven of ...

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