Nov 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Crazy midterm stat: Big chase for tiny slice

eople check in for early voting at a polling location at Bank of America Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina

People check in for early voting at a polling location at Bank of America Stadium on Nov. 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The majority of voters said they made up their minds about who they are supporting in the midterm elections at least two months ago — before the whirlwind of late-state campaigning and big-dollar spending.

Why it matters: The final stretch of the midterm campaign has the opportunity to sway just a sliver of voters — but in a razor-thin battle for the Senate, that small slice of voters could push one party over the edge.

Driving the news: 68% of registered voters said they made up their minds to support specific candidates in Tuesday's elections before September and 10% said they made up their minds in September, per a new NBC News poll.

  • Meanwhile, 8% of registered voters said they made up their minds in October, 3% said in the last week and 2% said they decided in the last few days.

What to watch: 7% of registered voters said they still might change their mind, per the NBC News poll.

The big picture: The cost of this cycle's state and federal midterm elections is projected to exceed $16.7 billion, per Open Secrets.

  • Federal candidates and political committees are expected to spend $8.9 billion.
  • The Senate races that are likely to determine control of the chamber have been among the most expensive, with Pennsylvania leading the pack.
  • In fact, five of the 10 most expensive congressional races are Senate races rated toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, Open Secrets notes.

Flashback: As of Sept. 20, more than $4.8 billion had already been spent on the 2022 federal elections, per Open Secrets.

Zoom in: As of Oct. 21, outside groups spent more than $58.9 million after Oct. 4, when the Cook Political Report shifted the Pennsylvania Senate race from leaning Democrat to a toss-up, per Open Secrets.

State of play: High-profile politicians were out on the trail this weekend in a final sprint before Tuesday, issuing stark warnings about what's at stake in the midterm elections.

  • "Sulking and moping is not an option," former President Obama said in Pennsylvania, AP reports.
  • "On Tuesday, let’s make sure our country doesn’t get set back 50 years."

Former President Trump, in a rally also in Pennsylvania over the weekend, said: "If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then on Tuesday you must vote Republican in a giant red wave," per AP.

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