“#ElectionResults2018,” the Washington watchdog, the Center for Responsive Politics Tweeted, “In 89.5% of House races and 83.9% of Senate races, the candidate with the most money won.”
Once upon a time such data would have signaled a double Red Wave, with rich Republicans celebrating a rout of the less-endowed Democrats.
But of course, even though the money trends seemed close to identical, the voting trends in races for seats in the House and Senate, Blue and Red respectively, waved to one another as they passed, going in opposite directions.
Democrats flipped the House, picking up what most estimate could be close to 35 seats. Republicans held onto the Senate, by a margin that could range from 51 to 49 to 54 to 46, depending on counts, recounts and final results from Arizona, Florida and Mississippi.
So, in the 2018 midterm elections, money talked and talked more loudly than ever before. But the dollar-babble grew both from contributors of big bucks and the surging ranks of small-scale donors. And money spoke out of both sides of America’s political mouth – in support of ultra-conservative Republicans and Progressive-plus Democrats.
The bottom line, for politics, as for betting at the racetrack, “you pays your money and you takes your chances.”
Dave Levinthal joined the Center for Public Integrity in 2013 and leads its federal politics reporting team. Under Dave’s direction, the Center’s political coverage has earned numerous honors, including two 2018 Edward R. Murrow Awards, a 2018 Editor & Publisher EPPY Award and two 2017 National Headliner Awards. For two years prior to joining the Center, Dave reported on campaign finance and lobbying issues for Politico and co-wrote the daily Politico Influence column. He also edited OpenSecrets.org from 2009 to 2011. From 2003 to 2009, Dave worked for The Dallas Morning News, primarily covering Dallas City Hall also reporting on national elections and aviation security. From 2000 to 2002, he covered the New Hampshire Statehouse for The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass. Dave’s work has appeared in TIME, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Politico Magazine, Slate and Public Radio International, among several dozen other publications. He regularly provides political analysis for television and radio networks and stations, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, C-SPAN, the BBC and National Public Radio. Dave is also an on-air contributor for the CBC News in Canada and WBEN-AM 930 in Buffalo, N.Y., his hometown. Beyond politics, Dave is also a two-time winner of Canada’s Northern Lights Award for his writing about the Arctic. Dave graduated from Syracuse Universitywith degrees in newspaper journalism and political philosophy and edited The Daily Orange, where he today serves on the nonprofit publication’s board of directors.