Independent spending (IEs) in the general elections of 2020 for the U.S. House and Senate reached $1.035 billion as of October 15. This is nearly one-third of a billion dollars more than congressional IEs as of the same date in the previous record year of 2018 (see Table 1).
In fact, the spending so far already is almost equal to the record level of $1.05 billion in for the full cycle of 2018, (For full-cycle information, see CFI’s Guide to Money in Federal Elections, 1974-2018.) With 18 days left until Election Day, and IEs averaging $15 million per day over the past seven days, there is likely to be a noticeable gap between the mark set in 2018 and the new one about to be set.
It is also important to note that 63% of the IEs so far have been made by the formal congressional party committees or the Super PACs and dark money groups directly associated with the four party leaders. The parties and party-related committees are dominating the IEs so far and no one else is even close. (For all of the IEs in this year’s congressional elections arranged by spender , see CFI’s daily IE tracker by group. The IE tracker also shows the spending in each House and Senate race, updated daily.)