Fueled by billionaires, political spending shatters records again


November 4, 2022


Cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX's CEO, is the Democrat who made arguably the biggest splash for his party; his $37 million in giving helped fund the Democrats' two main super PACs.

Fueled by an expanding class of billionaires, political spending on the 2022 midterm elections will shatter records at the state and federal levels, with much of it from largely unregulated super political action committees financed with enormous checks written mainly by Republican megadonors.

"We've broken records with our broken records," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Open Secrets, which estimated Thursday that total spending in 2021 and 2022 would reach $16.7 billion when tallied after Election Day, easily surpassing the previous midterm record of $14 billion set in 2018.

The total spent on federal races, currently $7.5 billion, has already passed the inflation-adjusted record of $7.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $8.9 billion when all is tallied. Of that, 15.4% has come from billionaires, up from 11.9% in 2020 and 15.3% in 2018. Beyond billionaires, the top 1% of donors, measured by income, has given 38% of the total.



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