Even in an era where money in politics has run amok, Pennsylvania 18’s congressional race stands out!
Here are some important numbers to chew on regarding the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District (PA-18):
- It’s being estimated that outside groups have spent around $10.6 million on Republican candidate Rick Saccone. (Source: OpenSecrets)
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has put over $3.5 million in the race, along with the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) dumping over $50,000 on “mobile communications” and the Republican National Committee (RNC) putting in over $26,000 for “phone services”, in hopes of keeping the fairly conservative district in Republican control. (Source: Politico)
It’s being said that the RNC, CLF, and other groups related to the Republican Party have put in around $9.1 million in hopes of Saccone winning the race. (Source: Washington Post)
What is being underreported by many outlets is that the Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, has himself raised nearly $3.9 million on individual donations, with little help from outside liberal groups that have spent under $1.8 million on the race. (Source: OpenSecrets)
Even if you were to take into consideration the current era in American politics, with the staggering money totals being put into elections, PA-18’s congressional race still stands out. Based on estimates by OpenSecrets, in 2016, the average spent from outside groups in which their candidates won the congressional race, was $1.3 million. Republican groups in the PA-18 special election have spent TEN TIMES THAT AMOUNT!! Even with the Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, his $1.8 million raised from outside groups is alarming considering the lack of support from the Democratic Establishment.
The reason Lamb hasn’t had that much help, in fundraising, from outside liberal groups can be pointed towards his views on guns (he’s a Marine veteran that supports gun rights) and his vocal opposition of Nancy Pelosi as party leader (which would explain the Democratic Establishment not being “more generous” to his campaign). Even then, for Lamb to raise $3.9 million from individual contributions is stunning.
For Republicans, it’s all about the optics of the situation. As we enter the 2018 Midterms, the GOP feels that losing the special election in PA-18 – a district in which President Trump won by 20 points – would look disastrous. Considering many pollsters are predicting a Democratic surge in the 2018 Midterm elections, losing a conservative district like PA-18, might be the first domino to fall in making that prediction a reality.
Then again, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has ruled that districts in the state would have to be redrawn. So by the time we get to the 2018 Midterms, PA-18 will most likely not exist. If that is the case, then the millions-of-dollars spent in this House race would be for a congressional that doesn’t even exist!
But then again, that looks to just be politics in the modern era.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)