Looking for a great deal?
Get ALL THREE of our new thank-you gifts when you donate $120.
This is a limited time offer – so act soon!
Many congressional candidates are headed into the final stretch before the midterms with a record amount of cash on hand.
In the last days before an election, “you want to be at your maximum spend level to reach the voters who may just be tuning in at the last minute,” said Republican strategist Chris Jankowski.
Although, in this race, it’s been hard to tune out. Tim Duggins, a pastor in central Virginia, said he’s received phone calls at home and been bombarded with TV ads. “It just feels like every commercial break or every pause,” he said.
But candidates have to be careful with their final spending choices, said Molly Allen, a Democratic consultant and fundraiser.
“They don’t want to be left with any money on the table because … if they end up losing, they’ve got money in the bank,” she said. “What else could they spend it on in order to turn out the vote?”
At the same time, said Allen, candidates don’t want to take on debt and win by a big margin — or worse, take on debt and lose.
“So, it’s all a gamble that the campaign manager and the consultants and the candidate all have to make together and understand the risk they’re taking,” she said.
Republican strategist Jankowski has seen many campaigns miss the mark over the years. Some candidates, especially a few GOP incumbents, are under-spending this cycle, he said.
“You’re going to see some surprise upsets,” Jankowski said. “They’re probably not spending enough money right now, but they don’t know it, and they won’t know it until around 9 o’clock on election night.”
Cassius Adair assisted with the reporting of this story.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.