Guest Op-Ed: Billions Spent on the Election While Americans Struggle

Dr. Glenn Mollette 

Total cost of 2022 state and federal midterm elections may have exceeded $16 billion according to a OpenSecrets analysis. Federal candidates and political committees spent over $8 billion while state candidates, party committees, and ballot measure committees spent close to $8 billion.

Here are the five most expensive Senate races this year according to OpenSecrets. This includes both general election and primary candidates together with the outside groups supporting them, such as the national parties and Super PACs:

· Pennsylvania: $373.6 million

 Georgia: $271.4 million (Georgia’s is growing)

· Arizona: $234.6 million

· Wisconsin: $205.8 million

· Ohio: $202.1 million

Pennsylvania’s crucial U.S. Senate race has been the most expensive in the country this year — and it wasn’t even close. Georgia may end up close to $300 million. Who in Georgia is happy about this? The television stations. If you own a television station during a highly contested election season, in a lucrative market, you’ll never have to work again when the election is over.  

Democrat John Fetterman, Republican Mehmet Oz and their political allies have spent a combined $312 million on a race that ended up not even close.  According to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics, money poured into Pennsylvania for Fetterman as he had over $15 million dollars more to work with than Oz. 

Many are wondering how Fetterman, a recuperating sick man with the worst debate performance ever on national television, beat Oz? The answer is not a simple sentence. The bottom line was they didn’t want Oz. Oz was seen as an outsider. Someone who moved to the state to further his career in politics. He is well known.  That should have helped but it didn’t help him that much. He was well known for being rich, famous and still relatively good looking for an old guy. Fetterman on the other hand is the local state guy. He doesn’t look so good. They know who he is whether that is good or bad. He has been very sick and trying to rehabilitate. A lot of people feel sorry for him and didn’t see him as a rich, affluent personality but rather a down to earth guy they can relate to. People often cheer for the underdog. If you post something on social media saying you are sick, bad off, down and out you’ll get many more “likes” or responses than if you post you have just received a career advance and a $50,000 bonus. 

Rand Paul of Kentucky raised $26,410,677 and reportedly spent $20 million. I hope he will use the remaining $6 million to rebuild homes in East, Kentucky recently devastated by flooding. Or, even West, Kentucky that is still trying to rebuild from tornadoes that flattened that part of the state. 

The money spent on this election and all national elections is insane. People all over America can’t afford to go the grocery store, fill up the gas tank or take care of their children’s school needs. Yet politicians, interest groups, political parties, and Political Action Committees are raising and spending mega millions trying to keep or gain a political seat. You can’t do anything about it either. We have so very little to say about anything in our country.

We have to depend on the people spending millions to get their seat. If the seat is worth millions to them and the special interest groups then do you really think they care about we think?

Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist –  American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories and features appear each week In over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.

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