Transparency and Campaign Spending in Minnesota - Federal Spending Oct. 2018

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Transparency and Campaign Spending in Minnesota - Federal Spending Oct. 2018

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Minnesota is awash in campaign spending –more than $94 million by mid-October. This includes $82 million on U.S. House and U.S. Senates and $12 million on the races for governor, attorney general, and statehouse. Campaign spending is acutely strategic: each party directs money where it enjoys the greatest opportunity in the most competitive races. For Republicans, spending has focused on statehouse races (as we saw in our previous report) and on contested U.S. House races that are critical to retaining the Party’s current state and national majorities. By comparison, spending to support DFL candidates has focused on the Governor and U.S. Senate races, along with competitive U.S. House races. Four of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House races are extremely competitive, and the more than $30 million in independent expenditures flowing to these races reflects their national importance. Most of the independent expenditures are spent by parties and groups opposing candidates to fund negative ads. No wonder Minnesotans complain about the harsh tone of this year’s election.


The “Transparency and Minnesota Public Affairs” project improves awareness of how the state’s democratic process works. This is a project of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. We are grateful for the contributions of Madeline Salucka and Matthew Motta. The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Other parties who use or draw conclusions from this research are solely responsible for their own views, which do not necessarily reflect those of the original authors. This research is supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

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Pearson, Kathryn; Jacobs, Lawrence R.. (2018). Transparency and Campaign Spending in Minnesota - Federal Spending Oct. 2018. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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