WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2023 – The 2022 federal election cost more than $8.9 billion, blowing past the inflation-adjusted $7.1 billion spent on the 2018 midterm elections, a new OpenSecrets analysis of year-end disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission found.
“The ever-escalating spending race between political parties means the price of admission to Congress keeps climbing,” said OpenSecrets Executive Director Sheila Krumholz. “But all of that money had hardly left American voters more or better informed.”
Key findings in OpenSecrets’ new analysis on the total cost of the 2022 federal midterm election include:
• Republicans outspent Democrats $4.2 billion to $4 billion during the 2022 election cycle.
• Total federal spending by outside groups approached $2.3 billion, exceeding even the record-smashing $2.2 billion spent on congressional races during the 2020 election.
• The cost of Senate races rose to $13.5 million, up from $10.8 million in 2018 midterm elections, while congressional elections were slightly cheaper than the last midterm election cycle at $1.8 million.
• Over 94% of winning U.S. House candidates and 88% of winning U.S. Senate candidates spent more money than their opponent during the 2022 election. That said, only a handful of races were competitive this election cycle.
• Small-dollar contributions exploded during the 2022 election cycle, with 18% of all funds coming from donors giving $200 or less.
• Women donors made up 29% of all campaign contributions of more than $200 during the 2022 election cycle, down from 35% in 2020 but on par with levels seen during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.
• Self-funding candidates were some of the biggest losers of the 2022 election cycle, with only two of the top 10 self-funders winning.>
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