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Nearly two weeks away from the 2022 midterms, we finally know that Democrats will remain in control of the Senate, Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives (very narrowly) and this was the most expensive midterm election in U.S. history.
According to OpenSecrets data, there are five races that stood out above the others and were most responsible for the record spending of $16 billion in these midterms. A clue? All were Senatorial races.
1. Pennsylvania Senate: Oz vs Fetterman
The first place is almost a no-brainer. From ground zero, both parties had this election on their radar. With Pat Toomey not seeking a third term, the Democrats saw a great opportunity to win a seat and chose John Fetterman to lead the charge. Joe Biden narrowly carried the Keystone State, so there was good reason to believe Democrats could pick up the seat.
After a competitive primary that was decided by a scant 900 votes, the GOP nominated Mehmet Oz. While the gap between the candidates was wide, as November 8 approached and particularly after the debate, the Republican was the favorite to win the election.
However, to the surprise of many, the Democrat prevailed by more than 5%, flipping a seat and taking a $374 million race, of which $133 million was spent by the candidates and $241 million by third parties.
2. Georgia Senate: no winner yet
Virtually the opposite was the case in Pennsylvania. The GOP viewed this election as its most important opportunity to win a seat. Senator Raphael Warnock faced Herschel Walker in Georgia, but there is still no declared winner in this election.
As none of them surpassed the 50% barrier, both will face each other again in a runoff, which will be defined in early December. Without Brian Kemp on the ballot for governor, the Democrats are more confident that they can retain the seat, but Republicans have no intention of repeating the results of January 5, 2021. According to the account, total spending was $288 million, $114 million spent by the candidates and $173 million by outside groups.
3. Arizona Senate: It took a while, but Mark Kelly’s victory was confirmed.
The GOP sought to prevent Kelly from serving a full 6-year term at all costs. To stop him, Donald Trump endorsed Blake Masters. Despite the help of his friend Pether Thiel and a favorable national context, with record inflation, the Republican was unable to defeat the current senator and was defeated by almost 5%.
In total, this election had an expenditure of 235 million, 107 million of which were paid by the candidates and 127 million by third parties.
4. Wisconsin Senate: one of the most surprising elections of the cycle
As the results started coming in on Nov. 8, Ron Johnson got the scare of his life. While polls predicted a nearly 4% victory for the two-term senator over Mandela Barnes, he ultimately won by just one percentage point, some 26,000 votes.
Some analysts indicated that Tony Evers helped narrow Johnson’s margin of victory. This race cost $206 million, $80 million from the candidates and $126 million from outside groups.
5. Ohio Senate: JD Vance is the new GOP senators
In a mission impossible,Democrats tried to flip the open seat in Ohio, a state that Donald Trump carried twice by 8%. Tim Ryan proved to be a formidable opponent for Vance, but was defeated by 6%. Mike DeWine won re-election as governor by 25%.
The total amount of money spent in this race was 202 million, of which 106 million were campaign expenses and 98 million came out of the pockets of third parties.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.