Record amounts spent on Washington congressional races in 2022
Outside groups spent record amounts trying to influence congressional races in Washington state this year — and no other election cycle comes anywhere close to 2022's tab.
Driving the news: Independent groups spent nearly twice as much money supporting and opposing Washington congressional candidates in 2022 than in any prior year, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Axios.
Why it matters: The analysis illustrates the extent to which outside money has shaped politics since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.
- That ruling allowed corporations, labor unions and nonprofits to shell out unlimited amounts of cash for or against political candidates, as long as they didn't coordinate directly with the candidates' campaigns.
By the numbers: Outside interests poured at least $45.1 million into this year's congressional races in Washington state, according to FEC filings through Nov. 8.
- That dwarfs the $22.9 million reported for the state's congressional races in 2010, Washington's next highest year for third-party spending.
Yes, and: Those figures don't include money spent by the candidates themselves.
- In this year's U.S. Senate race alone, the two competitors' campaigns spent more than $35 million combined, making it the most expensive congressional race in state history.
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