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I think there's a story popular, to varying extents, among liberal and Democratic activists, about the 2010 elections, SuperPACs, and "Citizens United".  David Jarman, who spends a lot of time looking at quantitative evidence, and who I have a lot of respect for, told the story this way:

Instead, what may have happened between now and 2008 is that rich guys seem to have looked at the great return on investment they got in 2010 -- only a few hundred thousand dollars in leverage in each of a few dozen competitive House races got them a whole new Congress much more to their liking that will save them millions of dollars -- and they also saw that they can't rely on the small individual grass-roots donors or even the middle-sized-ante congressional committees to get it done. Instead, they realized they can do it all themselves; they just needed an object lesson, which they hadn't gotten before 2010.
In other words: Republicans bought the 2010 House elections with SuperPAC or "dark money" campaign spending.  There are a lot of reasons this might be a popular story, but I think it's mostly a myth.  Here's why.

Democrats lost 66 House seats in 2010.  I've looked up every one of these races on OpenSecrets, which summarizes FEC reports on campaign spending--including "outside spending".  

There is one complication, which to some extent is a distinction between blaming "Citizens United" and blaming Karl Rove: Some of these races had significant expenditures listed that aren't listed as explicitly for or against a candidate.  I refer to this as "indirect" spending, as opposed to "direct" spending explicitly supporting or attacking a candidate.  One of the most ubiquitous groups making such expenditures was the Chamber of Commerce, and many others that you'll see below--including the American Action Network, the 60 Plus Association, and Americans for Job Security--are connected to each other, as well as to American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.  (The Crossroads groups themselves are not nearly as prominent in these races as many people might think, in my opinion.)  

Honestly, I just didn't notice these when I was first gathering this information.  I decided that I would mention when such expenditures seemed significant in a race, but I haven't included them in percentages or comparisons.  If they were included, they would increase the extent to which a candidate relied on "outside spending".  However, they would decrease the extent to which a candidate relied on "Citizens United"-influenced direct advocacy spending, at least as far as I understand campaign finance law--haven't PACs have always been able to run "issue ads"?  

With that in mind, I'll try to look at all 66 races, but here are some potential myths, as well as some apparent facts.

Myth: 2010 Democrats were up against a flood of money that they couldn't compete with.

Fact: Even accounting for outside spending, but looking only at direct spenidng, Democrats were outspent by Republicans in only 20 of these 66 races.  In the remaining 46 races, the Democrats outspent the Republicans.  In fact, in 24 races, the Democrats had an overall spending edge of at least $1 million.  And in almost all of the races where Democrats were outspent, they were outspent even before accounting for outside spending.  (The four exceptions are NH-01, TN-04, AZ-01, and SC-05.)

Still, sapelcovits' suggested that Dan Maffei still might have lost NY-25 because of outside spending, despite his overall spending advantage, given his narrow margin of defeat and the significant outside spending.  I've also read various people (wwmiv, impossibilty theorist, J. Bernstein) on campaign finance, and a common theme is that what the difference is between how much each candidate spends is less important than whether or not a candidate (especially a challenger) has enough money to be viable--this is why Bernstein's mantra on campaign finance reform is "floors, not ceilings".

This brings me to another potential myth.

Myth: Republicans relied heavily on direct spending outside of traditional sources like the campaigns themselves and the party committees.

Fact: The Republican candidate's campaign spending plus spending by the NRCC and other party committees accounted for a majority of Republican direct spending in every single one of these races.  In only 22 races did such "nontraditional direct spending" account for so much as 20% of Republican direct spending.  Again, it'd be a different story if I included indirect spending, but I thought it best to just note when that was significant.  

Even without accounting for such indirect spending, I think you'll agree that almost all of these candidates were probably entirely viable, even if all they had was their own campaign spending and the NRCC's spending.

But, with this question in mind, I've ordered all 66 races by the percentage of Republican direct spending that wasn't by the campaigns themselves or by party committees.  Sapelcovits will be pleased that NY-25 came out on top.

Please let me know if I've made any mistakes.  If you believe in the "'Citizens United' bought Republicans the election" story, tell me:

Which of these races, specifically, do you think were lost largely because of the (mostly rather minor) spending by outside groups listed as directly advocating for or against a candidate?  

I can see arguments for a few of them, but I really think this "Karl Rove and Crossroads were everywhere" story has a lot more popularity than it has empirical support.  

Basically, I think it's very unlikely that the following seats were lost on that ground--whether because of a wide (double-digit) margin of defeat for the Democrat, a small amount of outside direct/indirect spending in percentage and/or relative terms, or both:  

Large defeats, not much outside Republican spending: LA-03, TN-06, NY-29, KS-03,  OH-15, AR-02, FL-08, FL-24, PA-08, CO-04, IL-11, ND-AL, MS-01, MI-01, TN-08, OH-18, AZ-05.  17 seats.  

Closer, but not much outside Republican spending: MS-04, NY-13, IL-08, VA-02, MO-04, FL-22, OH-01, WI-07, TX-17, IL-14, TX-27, MN-08, NJ-03, ID-01, MI-07.  15 seats.

Large enough defeats that I doubt spending mattered: NM-02, MD-01, PA-03, IN-09, PA-11, FL-02, IL-17, OH-16, TN-04, IN-08, NY-20, PA-10, NH-01, PA-07, SC-05, WI-08.  16 seats.  

That's 48 races--more than enough, as it happens, for Democrats to have lost the House.  I'm less sure of some of those than others--particularly the ones that appear early in the list at the end of this diary--but I'd probably need a lot of convincing that these races turned on outside spending.      

That leaves 18 races where I think direct or indirect outside Republican spending might have made a difference: VA-05, OH-06, SD-AL, WV-01, WA-03, GA-08, AZ-01, VA-09, NY-19, NY-24, CO-03, NV-03, NC-02, NH-02, NY-25, AR-01 (maybe?), TX-23 (maybe?), AL-02.  I don't think it's at all assured that Karl Rove flipped every one of even those races.  And several of those races didn't have much Republican direct spending at all--so while outside spending may have had something to do with their outcomes, it might have been the kind of spending that's long been practiced, rather than a consequence of recent campaign finance law.  

So the races where Karl Rove/SuperPACs and the "Citizens United" decisions might have made a big difference is, if I'm right, some subset of these 18 races--out of 66 losses in all!  NY-25, maybe NC-02...and how many more?  

Perhaps you disagree with those judgments, and they're a bit broad and subjective, but I'm hoping this diary starts a discussion.  Even if you think there's too much money in politics or disagree with recent decisions on campaign finance, I still think it's important to properly estimate the consequences of those decisions, one race at a time.  If you think I'm missing important points about specific races or about campaign finance law, let me know!  There were also a few times when the numbers on OpenSecrets didn't seem to add up, and I've noted those when I noticed them.  One reason that I've listed all the races is to make it easy to click through and see where I, or OpenSecrets, might have made a mistake.  (I added a bit of formatting after this was posted.)

Anyway, let's get to the races!

1. NY-25: Perhaps the best example of a race that might have fit the myth.  Democrat Dan Maffei spent $3,114,128 from his own campaign to Republican Ann Buerkle's $758,777.  However, that was mitigated by Buerkle's edge in outside spending.  She had $685,327 in outside spending directly promoting her or attacking Maffei, to only $2,528 in Democratic outside spending.  

While Maffei still retained a sizable spending edge, Buerkle wasn't helped much by party committees--the NRCC only spent $85,000 on her behalf.  American Crossroads, on the other hand, spent $411,340 attacking Maffei, who narrowly lost.  All in all, 41.6% of Buerkle's direct spending came from outside of her campaign or the party committees.  The American Hospital Association spent $87,000 in this race, but not on direct spending.

2. TN-04: Democrat Lincoln Davis spent $1,411,746 from his own campaign, and there was $808,261 in outside Democratic direct spending.  Republican Scott Desjarlais spent $923,280, and there was $1,559,840 in outside Republican direct spending.  37.9% of it came from outside of Republican party committees, including $476,182 from Americans for Tax Reform and $272,100 from Crossroads GPS.  (The Faith and Freedom Coalition also had $209,988 in indirect spending.)  However, most of the Republican spending in this race was still by Desjarlais or by the NRCC, which spent $617,940.  Also, Desjarlais won by a huge margin--nearly 20 points!--so I'm not at all convinced that Davis wasn't simply doomed.

3. PA-07: In this open seat, Democrat Bryan Lentz spent $1,628,783 to Republican Tom Meehan's $2,986,713.  Meehan also had the edge in outside direct spending, with $2,198,479 in Republican outside direct spending and $1,234,621 in Democratic outside direct spending.  The lion's share of Republican outside direct spending came from the American Action Network, which threw in a whopping $1,406,818--the NRCC only put in $337,427.  Still, only 35.9% of Republican outside direct spending here came from outside Meehan's campaign or the NRCC, and Meehan won by 11 points.  Like in many races, the Chamber of Commerce has indirect spending listed here--$146,680.

4.  NH-02.  The candidates in this open seat probably need no introduction to DKErs, where Republican Charlie Bass narrowly beat Democrat Ann Kuster.  Kuster had a big edge in campaign spending, spending $2,486,894 to Bass' $1,249,005.  Kuster also had a big edge in outside direct spending, with $2,078,069 in Democratic outside direct spending to $1,422,158 for the Republicans.  (That's not counting a huge indirect expenditure from the American Action Network, though--$875,000 worth--nor other indirect expenditures, like $149,380 from the Chamber of Commerce.)  Looking only at direct spending, the biggest spending on the Republican side was $751,218 from Revere America.  Still, only 34.2% of Republican direct spending came from outside Bass' campaign or the NRCC.  Given Kuster's overall spending advantage, even if you include the American Action Network's spending, I doubt that had much to do with her loss, but her loss was narrow.  

5. SC-05.  Veteran Democratic incumbent John Spratt spent $2,497,633 from his campaign to Republican Mick Mulvaney's $1,510,414.  However, that was more-or-less flipped on the outside spending side, with $2,431,002 in Republican direct spending and $1,160,687 in Democratic direct spending.  Still, $1,092,843 of that Republican outside spending came from the NRCC.  In fact, only 34% of Mulvaney's spending came from outside of his campaign or the NRCC, and the largest "indirect spending" was a relatively minor $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  Meanwhile, the biggest outside direct spending was $421,517 from the Club for Growth, with the Citizens for a Working America PAC and the American Future Fund making up much of the rest.  Spratt lost by a wide margin, but it is true that his advantage in campaign spending was reversed by outside spending.

6. NC-02: Another example that might fit the myth.  Democrat Bob Etheridge spent $1,904,688 to Republican Renee Ellmers' $886,608.  There wasn't a lot of outside spending by comparison, but Ellmers did have the edge there--$430,313 in Republican outside spending and $61,700 in Democratic outside spending, with all of it direct.  With the NRCC not involved at all, and the North Carolina Republican Executive Committee spending all of $15, that's mostly accounted for by $359,484 from Americans for Job Security.  Still, we're only talking about 32.7% of Ellmers' campaign spending coming from outside of her campaign--oh yeah, and that fifteen bucks from the state party.  It is still true Etheridge lost narrowly--but how assured can we be that he wouldn't have lost even if Ellmers had her campaign spending reduced by less than 1/3?

7. PA-10: Democratic incumbent Chris Carney spent $1,657,586 from his own campaign to Republican Tom Marino's $704,457.  Again, that's reversed on the outside spending side, with $1,458,898 in Republican outside spending and only $758,723 in Democratic outside spending.  (The Chamber of Commerce had $398,365 in indirect spending as well.)  Once again, much of that is accounted for by a solid $834,908 from the NRCC.  The biggest outside direct spender on the Republican side, other than that, was the 60 Plus Association, which spent $466,445.  But only 28.8% of Republican direct spending came from outside of his campaign or the NRCC.  And Carney lost by a wide margin.

8. NV-03: Democratic incumbent Dina Titus spent $2,599,598 from her own campaign, to only $1,383,242 from Republican Joe Heck.  There was also less Republican direct spending than Democratic direct spending--$2,194,217 for the Republicans and $3,746,765 for the Democrats.  Titus definitely had the spending advantage here.  In fact, that's still easily true if you spot the Republicans $705,000 in indirect spending from the American Action Network and $549,850 from the Chamber of Commerce.

Still, let's continue to look at direct spending only--since that's our main subject here.  The NRCC spent $1,164,499 here, and as a result only 28.8% of Republican direct spending came from outside of Heck's campaign or the NRCC.  The biggest outside direct spending on the Republican side came from Americans for Tax Reform, which spent $622,323.  

9. MN-08:  Despite incumbent Democrat Jim Oberstar's narrow margin of defeat, it's hard for me to believe campaign spending caused his loss.  He spent $2,223,357 from his own campaign to Republican Chip Cravaack's $630,728.  There might have been more outside Republican direct spending, but the amounts are tiny--$332,745 for the Republicans and $21,063 for the Democrats, and there wasn't any indirect spending, either.  No one group spent very much--the NRCC didn't get involved at all (the DCCC chipped in $47, for some reason) but the Republican party of Minnesota spent $70,000.  Still, only 27.3% of Cravaack's meager totals came from anywhere other than the state party or his own campaign.  How likely is it that $103,575 from the 60 Plus Association, $63,046 from the SuperPAC for America, or even $48,546 from the dreaded Crossroads GPS swung this one?

10. NY-20: Another race with an insane spending edge for the Democrat, particularly in campaign spending, where Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy spent an insane $5,321,745 to Republican Chris Gibson's $1,734,219--on his way to an 11-point loss.  Once again, the Republican had an edge in outside direct spending, with $1,818,554 on the Republican side and $893,149 on the Democratic side.  However, much of that is accounted for by $862,925 from the NRCC, and only 26.9% of Republican direct spending here was from other sources than Gibson's campaign or the NRCC.  (The only "indirect" spending here was from a liberal group, the CSS Action Fund.)  Yes, the 60 Plus Association put in $498,950, and the much-feared American Crossroads put down $447,366, but the vast majority of the campaign spending in this race wasn't from that kind of thing--what makes them so special?

11. IN-08: Democrat Trent Van Haaften fund-raised respectfully in this open seat, spending  $762,359 from his own campaign to $1,024,952 from the Republican, Larry Buschon, who ultimately won in a landslide.  Van Haaften certainly had to deal with an even broader gap in outside direct spending with $723,064 on the Republican side and only $2,246 on the Democratic side.  Still, $266,046 of that was from the NRCC, and the NRCC plus Buschon's own campaign accounted for all but 26.1% of Republican direct spending here, and nor was there any nontrivial indirect spending.  The big outside direct spender here was $355,161 from Americans for Job Security.  I don't really think that explains Van Haaften's 19-point loss!

12. NH-01: Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter spent $1,682,124 from her own campaign to $1,558,063 from Republican Frank Guinta, who also won in a landslide.  This is another of the very few races where Republican advantage in outside direct spending erased the Democratic advantage in campaign spending: There was $2,015,978 on the Republicans side and only $363,014 on the Democratic side.  But much of that edge comes from the fact that the NRCC spent $1,110,337 and the DCCC only spent $25,436--only 25.3% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of the NRCC or Guinta's campaign, and there was only a relatively paltry amount of indirect spending here, including $148,640 from the Chamber of Commerce.  Revere America helped out with most of that, spending $741,281.  

13. CO-03: Democratic incumbent John Salazar might have lost narrowly to Republican Scott Tipton, but he had a decent campaign spending advantage--spending $2,474,562 to Tipton's $1,207,832.  Salazer also had the edge in outside direct spending, with $1,545,146 on the Republican side and $2,265,830 on the Democratic side.  You know the story by now--$848,074 of that was from the NRCC.  (The only indirect spending was $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.)  Americans for Job Security put in much of the rest with $498,438.  Still, only 25.3% of Republican direct spending came from such sources.

14. NY-24: Democratic incumbent Michael Arcuri spent $1,886,555 from his own campaign to $1,260,258 from the campaign of Republican challenger Richard Hanna, who won by 6 points.  The Republicans didn't have an edge in outside direct spending, either, with $1,124,894 on the Republican side and $1,140,668 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC provided $523,321 of that, and so only 25.2% of Republican direct spending here came from sources other than the NRCC or Hanna's campaign--sources like Americans for Job Security, which spent $472,720 here.  There was also a decently significant indirect expenditure, $328,349, from the Center for Individual Freedom and a bit from the Chamber of Commerce.

15. OH-16: This is an unusual race, as Democratic incumbent John Boccieri was actually outspent at the campaign level, spending $2,102,854 to $2,403,263 from Republican Jim Renacci.  What makes it even more unusual is that this was reversed by a huge Democratic edge in outside direct spending--with $2,582,987 on the Republican side and $4,186,456 on the Democratic side, and the main indirect spending was $354,120 from the Chamber of Commerce, as well as $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  Even then, $1,347,310 was from the NRCC, and $67, for some reason, was from the Republican National Committee.  That means that only 24.8% of Republican direct spending here was from outside of the NRCC or Renacci's campaign.  Sure, the allegedly mighty Crossroads GPS spent $447,125 here, but that's dwarfed by Renacci's own spending or the NRCC's spending, and Renacci got outspent all-in-all, even as he won with 52% of the vote and an 11-point margin over the incumbent.  You'd need a lot to convince me that Crossroads' $450k is what made that happen.

16. NY-19: Democratic incumbent John Hall faced a good fundraiser in Republican Nan Hayworth, who ultimately won by 6 points.  He spent $2,292,623 from his own campaign to her $2,129,637.  Hall had an edge in outside spending, too, since there was $699,101 in Republican outside direct spending and $1,038,200 in Democratic outside direct spending--even if you spot the Republicans $192,206 in additional indirect spending from the Chamber of Commerce and a tiny expenditure from Americans for Prosperity, Hall maintained a spending edge.  The NRCC didn't get involved at all here, but Hayworth raised enough on her own that only 24.8% of Republican direct spending came from outside her campaign.  The biggest factor outside her campaign?  Revere America, which spent $696,236.  

17. VA-09: Another race where the Democratic incumbent had a heavy campaign spending edge, as Rick Boucher spent $3,325,898 to $1,029,522 from Morgan Griffith.  There was a (less) massive edge in outside direct spending for the Republicans, with $1,529,851 on the Republican side and $147,418 on the Democratic side.  There were also significant indirect expenditures from the American Action Network($226,000), American Hospital Association($112,000), and Americans for Prosperity($111,497).  However, looking at direct spending, $899,119 came from the NRCC, meaning only 24.6% of Republican direct spending came from outside of Griffith's campaign or the NRCC.  The biggest player there?  Americans for Job Security, which spent $482,732.  Still, it is true that Boucher lost only narrowly.

18. IL-17: In one of the biggest upsets in the country, Democrat Phil Hare lost by 11 points to Republican Bobby Schilling.  Hare spent $1,759,078 from his campaign to Schilling's $1,093,250.  Does outside spending explain it?  Eh...there was $1,620,221 in direct spending on the Republican side and $2,332,697 on the Democratic side, and I don't see any indirect spending.  It might not surprise you at this point but $981,110 of that came from the NRCC, meaning only 23.6% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Schilling's campaign or the NRCC.  The biggest Republican player there was the American Future Fund, which spent $451,742.  

19. AZ-01: Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick spent $1,956,364 from her own campaign to  $1,168,287 from Republican and rogue dentist Paul Gosar.  But Republicans had a considerable edge in outside direct spending, with $2,177,520 on their side and only $1,172,767 on the Democratic side.  Yes, much of that was from the NRCC, which spent $1,395,876.  A decent chunk of the rest came from the 60 Plus Association, which spent $361,650.  The Faith and Freedom Coalition also threw down $209,988 in indirect spending.  Since this one of the other very few races where a Democratic edge in campaign spending was erased by outside spending, and since Kirkpatrick did pretty well considering her district, perhaps "outside spending" cost the Democrats this one, but most of the spending here really was Democratic, Gosar, or the NRCC.  

20. TX-27: In another upset, Republican Blake Farenthold narrowly beat Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz, even as Ortiz spent $1,244,876 to Farenthold's $565,898.  There was very, very little outside spending here, with merely $161,355 on the Republican side and $57,960 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC didn't get involved here, so only 22.2% of Farenthold's meager spending came from outside of his own campaign--most of it $156,260 from our friends at the 60 Plus Association.

21. FL-02: Democratic incumbent Allen Boyd lost by a wide margin to Republican Steve Southerland, but he sure did throw money at the problem, spending $3,814,064 to Southerland's $1,290,929.  That was somewhat mitigated by the Republican edge in outside direct spending, with $1,372,385 on the Republican side and $878,138 on the Democratic side.  Indirect expenditures included $263,970 from the Center for Individual Freedom and $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  Still, looking at direct spending only, as is our wont, $783,577 came from the NRCC.  Meanwhile, the redoubtable 60 Plus Association spent $371,874--but only 22.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Southerland's campaign or the NRCC.

22. GA-08: Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall lost by 6 points to Republican challenger Austin Scott, even as Marshall spent $1,814,549 from his own campaign to Scott's $1,024,631.  Once again, this was mitigated by outside direct spending, with $857,946 on the Republican side and $139,085 on the Democratic side.  $477,921 of that came from the NRCC, though, so only 20.2% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Scott's campaign or the NRCC.  Almost all of that remainder came from the American Future Fund, which spent $351,916.     

However, this race is notable for featuring a fairly large amount of indirect outside spending, led by $390,030 from the Chamber of Commerce, $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and $152,615 from the Center for Individual Freedom.  

23. PA-11: Democratic incumbent Paul Kankorski spent $2,083,660 from his own campaign as he lost to Republican Lou Barletta by 10 points, even as Barletta only spent $1,254,165 from his own.  Did Barletta make it up with outside spending?  Not with direct spending, at least, where there was $1,544,113 on the Republican side to $2,077,376 on the Democratic side.  (One reason is that the National Association of Realtors really went to bat for Kanjorski, spending $1,202,164.)  Still, of the Republican direct spending here, $986,772 came from the NRCC, meaning a mere 19.9% of Republican direct spending here came from outside the NRCC or Barletta's campaign.  These names will be familiar by now: $470,590 of that remainder came from the 60 Plus Association, and there were decently-sized indirect expenditures from the Faith and Freedom Coalition ($209,988) and from the Center for Individual Freedom ($132,359).  

24. WA-03: Things are starting to get repetitive.  Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler won this open swing seat by six points over Democrat Denny Heck, even as he spent $1,965,997 from his campaign to her $1,534,650.  There was heavy outside direct spending on both sides, but Republicans had a bit of an edge, with $1,976,795 in Republican outside direct spending and $1,837,160 on the Democratic side.  However, $1,330,269 of that was from the NRCC, along with $87 from the RNC, and so a mere 18.4% of Republican direct spending here was from outside Herrera Beutler's campaign or the NRCC.  Most of that was from the American Future Fund, which spent $470,787.  This doesn't account for moderate indirect expenditures including those from, yet again, the Faith and Freedom Coalition ($209,988) or the Chamber of Commerce ($149,540).

25. WV-01: This seat became open after Democrat Mike Oliverio beat the incumbent, Alan Mollohan, in the Democratic primary, and then narrowly lost to Republican David McKinley in the general election.  Oliverio spent $1,447,147 from his own campaign to $1,705,724 from McKinley's.  As far as direct outside spending goes, there was $1,264,410 on the Republican side and $1,368,842 on the Democratic side.  $722,607 of that came from the NRCC, and so only 18.2% of Republican direct spending came from outside McKinley's campaign or the NRCC.  Most of that came from the American Future Fund, which spent $445,117.  

Still, there's a huge caveat, since the American Action Network has a massive $1,049,700 indirect expenditure listed here!

26. IN-09: Democratic incumbent Baron Hill lost by 10 points to Republican Todd Young, even as Young only got 52% of the vote.  The campaign spending difference was more marginal, as Hill spent $2,167,570 from his own campaign to $1,950,159 from Young's.  Hill only had a wider edge accounting for outside direct spending, with $1,572,684 on the Republican side to $1,822,503 on the Democratic side, and there weren't any large indirect expenditures (a puny $69,475 from the liberal Citizens for Strength and Security and an even smaller $6,220 from Americans for Prosperity).  $936,112     came from the NRCC, with the RNC giving $174 for some reason, and so only 18.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside Young's campaign or the NRCC/RNC.  Much of the rest came from the American Future Fund ($255,812) and the New Prosperity Foundation ($179,500).

27. ID-01: How could a Democrat lose in Idaho?  I blame Karl Rove!  Democratic incumbent Walter Minnick lost by only eight points to Republican Raul Labrador, although he only got 42% himself.  Minnick spent $2,473,287 to Labrador's $686,293.  Not much outside spending here, but Democrats maintained an edge in outside direct spending, with $209,756 on the Republican side and $221,954 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC spent $48,139 of that, which still means that only 18% of Republican outside spending here was from outside Labrador's campaign or the NRCC.  Most of it was from the SuperPAC for America ($87,598) or the Tea Party Express itself ($59,352).  The Chamber of Commerce also put in $141,234 of indirect spending.    

28. TX-23: Plenty of money was flying around in this race, where Democratic incumbent Ciro Rodriguez lost by 6 points to Republican Francisco Canseco, though Rodriguez only got 44% of the vote.  Rodriguez spent $1,678,897 from his own campaign to $1,460,461 from Canseco's.  Rodriguez had the edge in outside direct spending as well--with $1,018,606 in outside direct spending on the Republican side and $1,505,864 on the Democratic side. There was also a $209,988 indirect expenditure from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  But back to direct spending: The NRCC spent $586,232 of that, with the Texas Republican Campaign Committee spending $1,982 more, meaning only 17.4% of Republican direct spending here came from outside the NRCC, the Texas Republican Campaign Committee, or Canseco's campaign.  Most of the remainder was from, yes, Crossroads GPS, which spent $331,600.  But why give them all the credit for such a small expenditure?

29. AL-02: How could a Democrat lose in Alabama?  I blame Karl Rove!  Democratic incumbent Bobby Bright actually did very well in 2010, losing by about 2 points to Republican Martha Roby.  (Note to OpenSecrets: Bright didn't take 72% of the vote here.)  Assuming I can trust the rest of OpenSecrets, Bright spent $1,435,526 from his own campaign to $1,240,276 from Roby's.  Roby had the edge in outside direct spending, with $1,540,966 on the Republican side and $1,496,228 on the Democratic side.  $1,059,425 was from the NRCC, though, so only 17.3% of Republican direct spending here was from outside of Roby's campaign or the NRCC.  Most of it was from the American Future Fund, which spent $420,112.  There were also relatively small indirect expenditures from the Chamber of Commerce ($195,140) and from the liberal Center for Strength and Security ($77,799).

30. PA-03: Democratic incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper lost easily to Republican Mike Kelly, even as she spent $1,957,701 from her campaign to his $1,235,460.  There was $891,355 in outside direct spending on the Republican side and $1,133,422 in outside direct spending on the Democratic side.  The NRCC spent $531,805 of that, and so only 16.9% of Republican direct spending here was from outside of Kelly's campaign or the NRCC.  Much of what was left came, once again, from the 60 Plus Association, which spent $215,957.  There were also decently-sized indirect expenditures from the Chamber of Commerce ($248,500) and from Susan B. Anthony's List ($211,400).  

31. WI-08: Democratic incumbent Steve Kagen lost by 10 points to Republican Reid Ribble, but he spent $2,080,786 from his own campaign to Ribble's $1,287,557.  As for outside direct spending, there was $855,110 on the Republican side and $1,503,680 on the Democratic side.  $495,602 of that came from the NRCC, meaning that only 16.8% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Ribble's campaign or the NRCC.  Much of the remainder came from the 60 Plus Association, which spent $160,700, and from the SuperPAC for America, which spent $124,755.  The American Action Network also spent $260,000 in indirect expenditures, and there were also relatively modest indirect expenditures from the Chamber of Commerce ($89,418) and from Americans for Prosperity ($67,813).  

32. AR-01: Democrat Chad Causey lost by eight points to Republican Rick Crawford, taking only 44% of the vote.  Causey spent $1,584,473 from his own campaign to Crawford's $1,172,563.  The Democrats kept their edge with outside direct spending, with $1,322,849 on the Republican side and $1,800,450 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC spent $926,213 of that, and the RNC kicked in $84 for some reason, so only 15.9% of Republican direct spending came from outside of Crawford's campaign or the NRCC/RNC.  Most of that came from the American Action Network, which spent $291,865, and from the American Future Fund, which spent $191,057.  There were significant independent expenditures from the Faith and Freedom Coalition ($209,988) and from Americans for Prosperity ($183,029).

33. MD-01: Democratic incumbent Frank Kratovil lost by 13 points to Republican Andy Harris.  Kratovil spent $2,621,893 from his own campaign to Harris' $2,383,184.  Democrats had the edge in outside direct spending, though, with $1,485,178 on the Republican side and $2,135,136 on the Democratic side.  $924,715 of that came from the NRCC, meaning a mere 14.5% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Harris' campaign or the NRCC.  Much of what was left came from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, which spent $261,980 for Harris, and from Concerned Taxpayers of America, which spent $192,278.  There was a significant indirect expenditure from the Chamber of Commerce, admittedly, at $437,524.  

34. MI-07: Democratic incumbent Mark Schauer had a decent showing against Republican Tim Walberg, I guess, getting 45% of the vote and losing by 5 points.  He certainly spent for it, spending $3,261,651 from his own campaign to Walberg's $1,647,379.  Heavy outside direct spending all around: $3,765,313 on the Republican side and $4,684,296 on the Democratic side.  While only $1,468,370 of that came from the NRCC, $85,000 more came from the RNC, with $1,455,815 more from the Republican Party of Michigan.  That means that only 14% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Walberg's campaign or the NRCC/RNC/state party. $506,761 of the rest came from the American Future Fund.  The American Action Network had $370,000 in indirect spending, and Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility spent $29,000.  Any reason to think that spending, in particular, made a difference here?

35. AZ-05: Democrat Harry Mitchell lost 42-53 to Republican David Schweikert, spending $2,308,400 from his own campaign to $1,721,364 from Schweikert's.  Democrats also had the edge in outside direct spending, with $1,814,652 on the Republican side and $2,146,864 on the Democratic side.  Since the NRCC spent $1,145,283, the AZ Republican party spent $209,029, and the RNC spent $232, only 13% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Schweikert's campaign and such party committees.  The Club for Growth spent much of the remainder with $153,284, and the SuperPAC for America spent $89,794.  Our old friends at the 60 Plus Association spent $397,838 in apparent indirect expenditures, as well as $19,251 in direct spending.  

36. OH-18: Democratic incumbent Zack Space lost 40-54 against Republican Bob Gibbs.  Space spent $2,931,978 from his own campaign to $1,090,872 from Gibbs.  Outside direct spending ran nearly even, with $1,550,740    on the Republican side and $1,583,988 on the Democratic side.  But $1,124,971 of that came from the NRCC, with $85,000 more from the RNC, so only 12.9% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Gibbs' campaign, the NRCC, or the RNC.  Chief among what little remains is Americans for Job Security, which spent $160,561.  Also, American Crossroads spent $77,102, thereby single-handedly swinging this entire election.  There were also relatively significant indirect expenditures from the American Hospital Association ($152,000), from Americans for Prosperity ($102,943), and from the Faith and Freedom Coalition ($209,988), while the Chamber of Commerce spent $45,415.

37. SD-AL: Democratic incumbent Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin narrowly lost to Republican Kristi Noem.  Sandlin was outspent even at the campaign level, since she spent $2,180,569 to Noem's $2,284,548.  Nor did Sandlin make that up in outside direct spending--there was $1,364,650 on the Republican side and only $617,494 on the Democratic side.  However, the NRCC spent $896,756 here, while the Republican State Committee of South Dakota spent $1,000, and the RNC spent $292.  That means only 12.8% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Noem's campaign or the party committees.  Much of what was left came from the American Future Fund, which spent $383,441.  

However, there should be another caveat here: The American Action Network has a huge $1,070,135 indirect expenditure listed.

38. TN-08: Republican Steve Fincher won this open seat in a landslide over Democrat Roy Herron, but their campaign spending was comparatively close, with $2,615,002 from Fincher's campaign and $2,068,502 from Herron's.  The contest in outside direct spending was an easier win, with $1,342,990 on the Republican side and $21,332 on the Democratic side.  $851,188 of that came from the NRCC, meaning only 12.4% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Fincher's campaign or the NRCC. $382,309 of the rest came from the 60 Plus Association, with $100,000 more from Conservatives for Truth.  No indirect spending is listed.

39.  IL-14: Democratic incumbent Bill Foster lost 45-51 to Republican Randy Hultgren.  Foster far outspent Hultgren on the campaign side, spending $3,737,519 from his campaign to Hultgren's $1,552,578.  Foster had a similarly dramatic edge in outside direct spending, with $697,162 on the Republican side and $2,405,192 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC spent $423,053 of that, and the RNC threw in $62, so that means that a meager 12.2% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Hultgren's campaign or the NRCC/RNC.  The American Future Fund spent much of what little remains, spending $193,453.  The only indirect spending listed is a meager $99,952 from the Chamber of Commerce.

40. TX-17: After years of surviving in a red district, Democrat Chet Edwards lost by a massive landslide to Republican Bill Flores.  Edwards certainly didn't lose on the cheap: He spent $3,841,632 from his own campaign to Flores' $3,309,747.  As for outside direct spending, Flores had a small edge, with $981,784 on the Republican side and $766,270 on the Democratic side.  However, the NRCC spent $475,645 of that, with $2,805    coming from the Texas Republican Campaign Committee.  That means that only a tiny 11.7% of Republican direct spending came from outside of Flores' campaign or other party committees.  The American Future Fund spent $251,301 and American Crossroads spent $164,086.  I don't think that's why Edwards lost here!  No indirect spending is listed.  

41. WI-07: Democrat Julie Lassa lost this open seat 44-52 to Republican Sean Duffy.  Duffy spent $1,918,211 from his campaign to $1,270,399 from Lassa's.  As for outside direct spending, there was $1,297,626    on the Republican side and $2,121,312 on the Democratic side.  With $937,694 of that coming from the NRCC, only 11.2% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Duffy's campaign or the NRCC, with a decent share of the remainder coming from Americans for Tax Reform, which spent $207,098.  There were a few indirect expenditures from Americans for Prosperity ($97,412) and from the Chamber of Commerce ($266,593).  

42. MI-01: Democrat Gary McDowell lost this open seat 41-52 to Republican Dan Benishek.  Benishek certainly had the campaign spending edge, spending $1,343,624 from his own campaign to McDowell's $838,160.  And Benishek certainly didn't lose anything on the outside direct spending front, with $2,588,533 on the Republican side to only $1,517,406 on the Democratic side.  However, $1,084,650 of that is from the NRCC, $1,010,405 is from the Republican Party of Michigan, and $85,000 is from the RNC.  That means only 10.4% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Benishek's campaign or the party committees.  Much of the remainder came from the American Future Fund, which spent $309,956.  The Faith and Freedom Coalition also has $209,988 listed in indirect spending.  

43. NJ-03: The late John Adler only lost narrowly to Republican John Runyan, spending $3,285,638 to Runyan's $1,518,073.  As for outside direct spending, Adler maintained a big edge, with $495,198 on the Republican side to $1,429,264 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC spent $307,480 of that, meaning only 9.3% of Republican direct spending here came from outside Runyan's campaign or the NRCC.  The American Future Fund spent much of the rest with $175,515, although there might be a typo, and there were rather modest indirect expenditures from the Center for Individual Freedom ($136,118) and from Americans for Prosperity ($21,095).  

44. OH-01: Democratic incumbent Steve Dreihaus lost by 7 points to Republican Steve Chabot.  Their campaign spending was very close, with $1,971,653 from Dreihaus' campaign and $2,039,474 from Chabot's.  Not much outside direct spending in this race, with $290,670 on the Republican side and $219,024 on the Democratic side.  $85,000 of that came from the NRCC, which still leaves a mere 8.8% of Republican direct spending here coming from outside of Chabot's campaign or the NRCC.  $124,950 of what's left came from the Campaign for Working Families.  The Susan B. Anthony List has $125,541 in indirect expenditures in addition to a few direct ones.    

45. MS-01: Democratic incumbent Travis Childers lost easily to Republican Alan Nunnelee.  Despite this, their campaign spending was competitive, with Childers spending $1,796,376 from his own campaign to $1,617,120 from Nunnelee.  Republicans had a bit more of an edge with direct outside spending--there was $1,217,123 on the Republican side and $1,055,609 on the Democratic side.  Still, $968,316 of that came from the NRCC, meaning 8.8% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Nunnelee's campaign or the NRCC.  Much of the remainder came from the American Future Fund, which spent $216,308.  As for indirect spending, there was $220,257 from the Center for Individual Freedom and $137,208 from the Chamber of Commerce.

46. ND-AL: Democrat Earl Pomeroy lost by 11 points to Republican Rick Berg.  Despite this, Pomeroy spent $3,690,646 from his own campaign to Berg's $2,094,847.  Pomeroy also had the edge in outside direct spending, with $1,433,347 on the Republican side and $1,552,141 on the Democratic side.  With $1,162,623 of that coming from the NRCC, only 7.7% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Berg's campaign or the NRCC.  Yes, American Crossroads might have spent $247,700 of what remains, but I don't think it's at all obvious that was the deciding factor in this election.  The main indirect expenditure was $273,525 from the Chamber of Commerce.

47. FL-22: In this race between two huge fundraisers, Democratic incumbent Ron Klein lost by 8 points to Republican Allen West.  Even though Klein spent $5,319,671 from his own campaign, he couldn't keep up with West, who spent $6,519,713.  Outside direct spending was far smaller, but West had a slight advantage there, with $592,204 on the Republican side and $550,336 on the Democratic side.  Only $85,000 of that came from the NRCC, but that still means that only 7.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of West's campaign or the NRCC, including $215,616 from Crossroads GPS.  There was also $209,988 in indirect spending from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.  Note: There might be mistakes here on the OpenSecrets site, since I can't get the totals to add up.  I don't really know how to reconcile FEC forms with the OpenSecrets site, but c'mon--does anyone think Allen West relied on outside spending?

48. IL-11: Democratic incumbent Deborah Halvorson lost easily to Republican Adam Kinzinger.  She did, however, spend $2,502,037 from her campaign to only $1,827,192 from his.  Again,  not a lot of outside direct spending by comparison, but there was $484,197 on the Republican side to $88,439 on the Democratic side.  $322,348 of that was from the NRCC, meaning that only 7% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Kinzinger's campaign or the NRCC.  Much of the rest came from the American Future Fund, which spent $138,979.  There was also a bit of indirect spending, chiefly $300,000 from the Chamber of Commerce.  

49. CO-04: Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey lost easily to Republican Cory Gardner, but once again, her own campaign spending was far more competitive--she spent $3,516,268 to his $2,407,602.  The Republicans had a slight edge when it came to outside direct spending, with $1,119,071 on the Republican side and $1,071,180 on the Democratic side.  But with the NRCC spending $925,396 of that, only 5.5% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.  At this point I'm not really going to bother to list them, but I will add that the Chamber of Commerce had $250,000 in indirect spending here.     

50. MO-04: Veteran Democrat Ike Skelton lost by 5 points to Republican Vicky Hartzler, but he greatly outspent her as far as personal campaign spending--spending $3,107,552 to her  $1,351,176.  As for outside direct spending, there was $1,460,500 on the Republican side and $1,364,495 on the Democratic side.  Still, with $1,319,107 of that coming from the NRCC, only a tiny 5% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources,  with no indirect spending listed either.  

51. PA-08: Democratic incumbent Patrick Murphy lost by 8 points to Republican Mike Fitzpatrick, but he had a big spending advantage.  He spent $4,287,244 from his own campaign to Fitzpatrick's $2,062,733.  Democrats had a big edge in outside direct spending as well, with $472,146 on the Republican side to $2,692,489 on the Democratic side.  $354,963 of that was from the NRCC, meaning only 4.6% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.  The Chamber of Commerce had $170,000 in indirect expenditures here, and there was a bit from Americans for Prosperity.  

52. FL-24: Is this getting to be familiar?  Democratic incumbent Suzanne Kosmas lost in a landslide to Republican Sandy Adams, but she easily outspent Adams on the campaign front, spending $2,561,831 from her own campaign to Adams' $1,266,664.  The Republicans did have an edge in outside direct spending, with $757,381 on the Republican side and $91,776 on the Democratic side.  With $588,989 from the NRCC and $85,000 from the RNC, only 4.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.  There was also $250,000 in indirect expenditures here from the Chamber of Commerce.

53. FL-08: Democratic incumbent Alan Grayson turned yet another spending advantage into yet another landslide defeat to Republican Daniel Webster.  Grayson spent a whopping  $5,459,812 from his own campaign to only $1,756,775 from Webster's.  There was $687,199 in outside direct spending on the Republican side and $247,455 on the Democratic side, but $593,230 of that was from the NRCC, meaning only 3.8% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.  There was also $250,000 in indirect expenditures here from the Chamber of Commerce, and some other minor indirect expenditures.

54. AR-02: Republican Tim Griffin won this open seat in a landslide over Democrat Joyce Elliot, and he spent $1,774,143 from his own campaign to her $1,019,386.  Democrats had the advantage in outside direct spending, interestingly enough, with $66,949 on the Republican side and $170,531 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC didn't get involved here, but that's still just 3.6% of Republican direct spending here.  There's no indirect expenditures listed.

55. VA-05: Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello lost by 6 points to Republican Robert Hurt, but he had an advantage in personal campaign spending, spending $3,782,680 to Hurt's $2,542,276.  The Democrats retained an advantage in outside direct spending, with $1,223,251 on the Republican side and $3,062,833 on the Democratic side.  With $1,091,200 of that from the NRCC, only 3.5% of Republican direct spending came from outside sources.  

One caveat is that there was a lot of indirect spending in this race--$234,000 from the American Action Network, $209,988 from the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and $442,765 from the Chamber of Commerce.

56. OH-15: Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy easily lost to Republican Steve Stivers, but she was only outspent by him narrowly at the campaign level, spending $2,664,282 from her own campaign to his $2,735,788.  As for outside direct spending, there was $177,227 on the Republican side and $112,979 on the Democratic side.  $85,000 of that came from the NRCC, meaning only 3.2% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Stivers' campaign or the NRCC.  The main indirect spending here was from the Chamber of Commerce, which spent $261,735.  

57. KS-03: Republican Kevin Yoder won this open seat in a landslide over Democrat Stephanie Moore.  Their campaign spending was similarly disparate, since Yoder spent $1,946,871 from his own campaign to $965,853 from Moore.  Outside direct spending is a little hard to figure out here, since I'm not sure it was reported correctly--there seems to be a typo or something.  Taking it at face value, there was $150,791 in Republican outside direct spending and $60,760 on the Democratic side.  With $85,000 of that from the NRCC, only 3.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Yoder's campaign or the NRCC.  There was also $172,864 in indirect spending from the Chamber of Commerce.  (And, again, even though the typo is disconcerting, Yoder won so easily that I doubt it matters.)

58. NY-29: Republican Tom Reed won this open seat over Democrat Matthew Zeller by 12 points, and he greatly outspent Zeller on the personal campaign front, spending $1,045,658 to Zeller's  $456,755.  Very little outside spending listed here, with only $21,808 on the Republican side and $3,988 on the Democratic side.  While the NRCC didn't get involved, that's just 2% of Republican direct spending here.  No indirect spending is listed.

59. VA-02: Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye lost easily to Republican Scott Rigell, but their personal campaign spending gap was even more lop-sided, with Nye spending $2,274,753 to Rigell's $4,352,653.  It was actually the Democrats with the outside direct spending advantage, with $593,139 on the Republican side and $884,591 on the Democratic side.  Still, $509,661 of that came from the NRCC, meaning only 1.7% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.  There was a small indirect expenditure from the Chamber of Commerce ($82,074).

60. NM-02: Democratic incumbent Harry Teague lost by 10 points to Republican Steve Pearce.  Teague spent $2,066,529 to Pearce's $2,417,905.  Democrats had the edge in outside direct spending with $684,135 on the Republican side and $1,634,813 on the Democratic side.  With the NRCC spending $634,773 here, only 1.6% of Republican direct spending came from outside sources.  However, there was a lot of indirect spending in this race--$436,953 from the Chamber of Commerce and $109,144 from Americans for Job Security.

61. OH-06: Democratic incumbent Charlie Wilson lost by 5 points to Republican Bill Johnson.  Wilson spent $1,236,213 to Johnson's $639,670.  Democrats retained an edge in outside direct spending, with $434,078 on the Republican side and $722,192 on the Democratic side.  With $422,616 spent by the NRCC, only 1.1% of Republican direct spending here came from outside sources.

Big, big caveat is that the American Action Network spent $1,010,000 in indirect expenditures here!

62. TN-06: Republican Diane Black won this open seat in a landslide over Democrat Brett Carter, and she also spent $2,202,458 from her own campaign to his $204,332.  All $14,817 in outside direct spending was on the Republican side, the NRCC didn't get involved, and there isn't any indirect spending listed, so only 0.6% of Republican direct spending was from outside sources here.  

63. IL-08: Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean lost narrowly to Republican Joe Walsh, spending $2,451,348 from her own campaign to his $602,803.  There was little outside spending, with $2,273 on the Republican side and $96,398 on the Democratic side.  The NRCC didn't get involved here, so that's just 0.4% of Republican direct spending here.  The only indirect spending listed is $90,000 from the liberal Citizens for Strength and Security.

64. NY-13: Democrat Michael McMahon lost narrowly to Republican Mike Grimm, but McMahon spent $2,897,473 from his own campaign to only $1,249,139 from Grimm's.  Not much outside direct spending in this race, with $89,318 on the Republican side and $47,988 on the Democratic side--with $85,000 of that from the NRCC, that means that only 0.3% of Republican direct spending here came from outside of Grimm's campaign or the NRCC.  There were rather small indirect expenditures from Americans for Prosperity and the American Future Fund, with the latter spending $47,176.

65. LA-03: Same basic story as TN-06: Republican Jeff Landry won this open seat in a landslide over Democrat Ravi Sangisetty.  The campaign spending was relatively close, with Landry spending $1,360,649 to Sangisetty's $836,316.  Democrats actually had the advantage in outside direct spending here, with $6,472 on the Republican side and $54,000 on the Democratic side.  With the NRCC not involved, and with only a tiny expenditure by the Republican party of Louisiana, that means only 0.2% of Republican direct spending came from outside sources.  No indirect spending is listed.

66. MS-04: Last one!  Democrat Gene Taylor lost by only 5 points to Republican Steve Palazzo, spending $968,943 from his own campaign to Palazzo's $1,026,476.  There was $426,818 in outside direct spending on the Republican side and $301,500 on the Democratic side.  $426,818 of that came from the NRCC, meaning that only 0% of Republican direct spending came from outside sources here.  No indirect spending is listed.

Poll

How many seats did SuperPACS/Rove/C.U. cost the Democrats in 2010?

5%5 votes
64%60 votes
27%26 votes
2%2 votes

| 93 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Haha, yes (9+ / 0-)

    I am quite pleased about NY-25 coming out on top ;)

    I applaud your hard work and I agree with the basic premise that Citizens United didn't cost Dems the house (and I roll my eyes every time I read a "district lines/internal polls/political trends/planet alignments are irrelevant! Crossroads will just buy the election for the Republican anyway!" post). That being said, I'm curious as to how outside spending could affect local races (I'm specifically thinking about Art Pope, the NC version of the Koch Bros).

    22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 04:37:38 PM PDT

    •  To be honest, I was kind of looking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, Dave in Northridge

      for a way of ranking them that would distinguish NY-25, but I think this way makes some amount of sense anyway.

      As for Pope, try Follow The Money for state-level races.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 04:56:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NY-25 was definitely impacted (0+ / 0-)

        by the spending & Maffei's weak approach to responding to slick "Dems are destroying Medicare" memes in the last days of the campaign. Couple that with the fact that key constituencies like students voted in typical mid-term volume (low) and Dems lost.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 09:07:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Long term: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, dadadata, gabjoh

    This will elect as many Democrats as it will Republicans. Money bets on the winning candidate. The only thing that changes is your and my vote matters less.

  •  Lessons for 2012? (5+ / 0-)

    None.  It's the war on women/Medicare/Social Security/the middle class/marriage equality, stupid.

    Seriously, if we field candidates who can't make the simple case that the Republicans have done nothing about the economy or anything else since January 2011, we deserve to be a minority party again.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 05:30:44 PM PDT

  •  Md-01 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    Kratovil was a very weak Congressman. The money spent by outsiders on Andy Harris that mattered was the 2008 Republican primary.

    It's a sad commentary on Maryland voters, but the bagster crowd was frothin' and Andy was right there.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 05:33:47 PM PDT

  •  Well Remember C-U Was VERY New, Only 9 Months (4+ / 0-)

    before the 2010 election. There was hardly time to tool up though I'm sure there were conservatives who knew how the Justices would rule and had laid some groundwork.

    I don't think it's safe to extrapolate from one midterm result to the subsequent Presidential race, also from the very first contest during the startup period with the next one that's had the full 2 years to continue building infrastructure.

    There's another point that Thom Hartmann often makes, and that's that there is considerable impact from spending that does NOT take place. All a lobbyist needs to do is stroll in to the rep and say "I have a million dollars to fight you if you get out of line." The behavior of Democrats for years has been consistent with fear of that threat, whether or not that's the actual cause of their behavior, and especially so in 2010.

    We're nearly half a century into being reminded that money doesn't buy results, and now money owns virtually everything about our society and system.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 06:22:04 PM PDT

    •  I don't think money buys electoral results (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      It might well buy (or influence) policy results, or other kinds of results.  That's a different question, and it's an important question, but it wasn't my subject here.  

      I also wasn't trying to predict the future--it's possible that this kind of spending will have a larger impact in 2012 than it had in 2010, but I think one of the best ways to understand that is to try as hard as we can to understand the effect it had in 2010.  That's what I'm trying to do.      

      You might be right that legislators might be "over-cautious"--that they might fear things like campaign spending out of proportion to their actual effects.  I think that J. Bernstein has written about that as well, possibly using that word.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 06:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't this analysis ignore any role of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh

    national ads, not aimed at particular races? The "Harry and Louise" ads in Clinton's day for example?

    There was apparently a national tide. not a seat-by-seat battle...

    •  I'm not aware of any national ads in 2010 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elwood Dowd, Englishlefty, gabjoh

      though I could be wrong.  But I definitely agree 2010 was a national tide.

      Despite that, my purpose here was to look at a specific story that this kind of spending played a big role in the 2010 House elections.  And this kind of spending is "aimed at particular races" by definition--that's what these groups do, as far as I know.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 06:43:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I actually hadn't heard these myths. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, JamieG from Md, ArkDem14

    I know what cost us in 2010. Many Dem or Dem leaning voters stayed home. The right wing was motivated by two factors: desperation and hope. The gop knew that they were one election away from oblivion and they put up a stiff fight. The Dems and progressives got lazy in 2009 and let them up off the mat.
    On the other point, Charlie Cook and others were telling the gop they had a strong chance to win early on in 2009, mainly due to the voter frustration over how long and painful the HCR was. The gop Senate Stall cost us dearly.
    The spending had little to do with it.
    I'm frankly a little shocked that everyone didn't see what I saw.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:09:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm too tired to read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt, tardis10, JamieG from Md

    the whole thing right now but skimming I can see that you put a lot of effort and research into this. Excellent job! I always appreciate a well researched piece packed full of real data. I'll come back and read it tomorrow when my eyes aren't so blurry. Thanks!

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:11:48 PM PDT

  •  The polling predicted 2010 long before the ads (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    killjoy, thematt523

    They could have held the election 6 months earlier and the results would have been the same. The vast majority of the electorate is not swayed by the ads.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:45:57 PM PDT

  •  Sites like Huffpo and DK self-fulfilling prophecy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, tarminian

    The real answer which is unlikely to be noted for a few more years is the caterwauling of WE'RE DOOMED from the emo-left, led by Arianna "Phony" Huffington. "OBAMA SUCKS IS JUST LIKE BUSH" was the battle-cry among the "KILL THE BILL" left.

    If you want the real story.

  •  I would say some of it was money. (3+ / 0-)

    Look at poor Russ Feingold. I remember seeing a lot more Ron Johnson ads than Feingold ones.
    Also, It was voter dissatisfaction on both sides. Repubs were mad at Obama for moving the country, in their eyes, hard to left. Dems were dissatisfied that Obama and the Dems hadn't lived up to their expectations, and they stayed home.

    Farm boy who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.88, -4.26, 6/5/2012- the day the great error of Wisconsin history will be corrected!

    by WisJohn on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:55:09 PM PDT

  •  Definitely agreed - money is Wayyy overrated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thematt523, Skaje

    as a factor in swaying elections. Although you need a certain amount to be viable, once you reach that threshold results have much more to do with fundamentals associated with environment and campaign quality than they do with which candidate spends more money.

    26, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

    by okiedem on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 08:15:26 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      once a candidate has shown they can raise like $500K, it doesn't matter too much if their opponent has 1 million or 5 million.  At that point the candidate has enough money to run a real campaign, and additional spending isn't going to budge the needle as much as scandals, bad votes, other gaffes, turnout organizations, and especially the national political environment.

      If Sharon Angle had twice as much money in 2010 I still feel she would have lost to Harry Reid.  There's only so much money can buy past a certain point.  Rep. Allen West is probably gonna raise like $5 million for his re-election fight but ultimately his fate depends on other factors.

      In super close elections you could blame money, but then again you could blame any other number of factors too.  We'll never know what it was that put one candidate over the edge.

  •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, Maverick80229

    This was a remarkably thorough analysis.

    22, Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (Taught), TX-17 (Lived); Left, right, back to the middle... Taste my skittles?

    by wwmiv on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 08:30:42 PM PDT

  •  This isn't the worst meme ever to hit Dailykos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sapelcovits

    Remember "Diebold will rig every close election for Republicans"?  Good times.

    Many progressives seem to gravitate toward any viewpoint that casts us as being helpless to stop conservative political power.

  •  Typo (0+ / 0-)

    Pat Meehan, not Tom Meehan.
    Nevertheless, what an interesting read!

    Home: IL-10. College: PA-07 (starting this upcoming fall).

    by IllinoyedR on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:53:26 AM PDT

  •  NY-20 (0+ / 0-)

    Hard to believe Murphy spent $5M in that race.  Sheesh, it must have been awful turning on the TV/radio during the last few days of that race.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:53:37 AM PDT

  •  About Democrats and Republicans Debate (0+ / 0-)

    it doesn't matter whether it's the democrats or the republicans who spent a lot from loans to use in their campaigns. in the end, you would have to be sure that these loans are paid off or spent wisely at least. For more information about loans, you can check on the site: http://australianfundraising.com.au

  •  Just a comment about "direct" and "indirect" (0+ / 0-)

    spending.

    First, good research here, research that suggests the environment was terrible for Democrats and the outside spending wasn't the reason we lost the House.

    I do take issue with both the terms "indirect" and "direct"spending and with the idea that they should be split up.

    To be specific, what you call "direct" outside spending is "independent expenditure" spending that allows the group putting up the ad to say "vote for" "vote against" etc

    What you call "indirect" spending is reported as "electioneering communications" which says "Call Rep. X., Tell him to stop giving tax breaks to child molesters", but can not say vote for or vote against.

    The point is, both of these types of ads NAME the candidate, which is the most important thing going here. Yes, electioneering communication ads are slightly less effective, because they can't expressly advocate, but as outside spending goes, this is a distinction without a difference.

    That said, USCoC and its electioneering communications - the biggest outside spender other than Rove's groups - was, in form, unchanged by Citizens United.  It ran the exact same types of spots that it was allowed to run prior to Citizens United.

    •  That's what I thought, and that's what I meant by (0+ / 0-)

      "If they were included, they would increase the extent to which a candidate relied on "outside spending".  However, they would decrease the extent to which a candidate relied on "Citizens United"-influenced direct advocacy spending".

      In other words, such "indirect expenditures" would increase the denominator of total spending, so if your numerator is total "outside spending", then the fraction would get larger--but if your numerator is total "outside direct spending", the numerator would stay the same, so the fraction would get smaller.

      Whether or not you should split them up depends on the question you're trying to answer.  If the question you're trying to answer is "how much did Republican candidates rely on outside spending in general?", then you shouldn't split them up--but then you'd need more to distinguish 2010 from past cycles.

      If the question you're trying to answer is "how much did Republican candidates rely on newfangled SuperPACs that could make direct appeals?", then you should, I think, split them up.

      But I'm a bit fuzzy about some of this stuff, so I appreciate your feedback and kind words.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:00:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really like the research.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and I agree with your analysis. And your point re: whether to split the outside spending or not based on the question.

        My real point was that I think the nomenclature used is a bit misleading.  

        That said, in 2010, even the non-independent expenditure spending was expanded. In the '08 cycle, the US Chamber spent about $15m in electioneering comm; in '10 they spent $33m. (And the Chamber is critical hear cause they haven't historically spend money Presidentially)  And what doesn't get counted in the 2010 total is the roughly $50m they spent attack specific Dems on HCR in late '09.

        My point is that Citizens United may not have been determinitive, but the amount of outside spending against Dem congressional candidates was unprecedented, with or with out CU.

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