money in politics

The Cost of Winning a Senate Race

Photo credit: Flickr user, hsivonen,

To illustrate the large difference in the amount of money needed to win a US Senate seat (quite a lot) and the amount needed to win a state Senate seat (much, much less), a recent Mother Jones article used some calculations that I thought were somewhat lacking – so I decided to make improvements.

To skip straight to the findings, click here.

I don’t disagree with the main thrust of the Mother Jones article, which is that super-PACs are setting their sights on state capitals, not just federal races, and certainly not just the 2012 presidential race. This is alarming because