Sunlight's analysis of outside spenders' return on investment in the 2014 elections. Unlike in 2012, conservative groups got more bang for their buck while liberal supporters faced serious losses.Continue reading
The deluge of ads gives us an insight in to where the smart money is spending. And reminds us the smart money believes that going negative works.Continue reading
The biggest primary election spenders threw millions of dollars at opponents who went on to win.Continue reading
Using our trackers Sunlight makes it easy to track the advertisements, money and fundraisers in 2014's most pivotal races. Follow the money to see who is influencing your vote — and how much they're paying.Continue reading
A Democratic super PAC is pulling a page from the 1995 playbook in hopes of turning the government shutdown into political gains.Continue reading
(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 ...Continue reading
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 ...Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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 ...
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 ...Continue reading