A vendor sells campaign buttons for U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of a rally in Springfield, Missouri, U.S. (Photographer: Neeta Satam/Bloomberg)

2018 Midterms Projected To Be Most Expensive on Record

(Bloomberg) -- This year’s midterm congressional campaign is projected to cost $5 billion, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, easily making it the costliest in U.S. history.

“We expected to see the numbers climb, as they typically do, but the astonishing spike in campaign donations is a solid indicator of the intensity driving this year’s campaigns,” Sheila Krumholz, the center’s executive director, said in a statement Wednesday.

The most expensive congressional election so far was in 2016, with just over $4 billion spent for House and Senate campaigns, the center said. Spending on the 2010 election, in which Republicans swept Democrats out of their majority in the House, was comparable to 2016 when adjusted for inflation.

More than $3.7 billion has already been spent on the 2018 election, including money from candidates, parties, committees, political action committees and outside groups.

Polls and fundraising figures show voters in both parties are highly motivated. That’s been driving a flood of donations to Democratic candidates in competitive races where the party hopes to pick up House seats.

In the 31 districts rated as tossups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report -- all but two of them currently in Republican hands -- the Democratic candidates overall started October with $37.6 million in the bank, compared with $29.6 million for the Republicans, a Bloomberg tabulation of Federal Election Commission reports shows.

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