Mar 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

The House candidates getting the most special interest money

Special-interest group spending on House candidates, 2022
*Numbers for Nina Turner reflect her 2021 special election. Data: OpenSecrets; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Democratic House candidates are getting big-money boosts from political action committees and other outside groups, with over $16 million pouring into 10 races alone, according to financial data compiled by OpenSecrets.

Why it matters: Super PACs, nonprofits and party committees can pump unlimited sums into key states and districts to boost a candidate or wound an opponent. The vehicles also allow varying anonymity for donors.

  • While outside money has influenced politics and campaigns for decades, this year's midterms could feature the most spending yet.

Between the lines: The numbers reflect the total amount of money, so far, special-interest groups have spent both in support of or against these 10 candidates whose campaigns have received the most outside attention.

  • Nina Turner, a Democrat running in Ohio's 11th district, has sworn off taking any corporate PAC or lobbyist money.
  • That didn't stop special-interest groups from spending over $1.7 million against her campaign, and others dropping roughly $650,000 to promote her in the 2021 special election for Ohio's 11th district.
  • So far, all of the Republican House candidates reviewed in this group have only had outside money invested in support of their campaigns.

Go deeper: In Virginia, Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger's campaign has received mostly positive attention from outside spending.

  • Only $1,153 of the more than $1 million being spent has been in opposition to her candidacy, OpenSecrets found.
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