State's U.S. House races were most co...

State's U.S. House races were most costly in history

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Bob Schmahl

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Dec 8, 2012
Minnesota's congressional candidates spent nearly $32 million on what are now the most expensive U.S. House races in state history.

Of those, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann accounts for almost half that total. The Republican firebrand tapped her nationwide donor base to unleash more than $15 million on the contest -- nearly as much as every other state congressional candidate combined.

The former presidential candidate is one of the House's most prolific fundraisers, raising more than $16 million for this year's congressional campaign. Combined with the $2 million raised by her Democratic challenger, hotel magnate Jim Graves, that makes the race for Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District one of the most expensive House races in the country.

The fourth-term Republican is accustomed to taking the top spending spot. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, her 2010 race was also the nation's costliest and her 2008 race ranked in the top 10.

"Her presidential campaign elevated her to the national platform and greatly increased her ability to raise funds," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. Krumholz said that while Bachmann raised 30 percent of itemized individual donations from outside Minnesota in 2008, that figure grew to 86 percent in 2012.

A lightning rod for national Republican attention, Bachmann sent out appeal after appeal to win small-dollar donations in the final weeks of the campaign.

"Fellow Conservative, this is the toughest re-election campaign I have ever faced," she wrote to her massive list of supporters last month. "Your support has never been more important. I need your help to fight back."

She was right about the difficulty she would face. Bachmann beat Graves by only about 4,000 votes, which works out to about $80 spent per vote she received.
Cloud 9

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Dec 9, 2012
That's simply amazing - Bachmann spent $80 per vote received! And she still only won by just over one percent.

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Dec 9, 2012
Isn't $80 also about the average annual income in our little Appalachia? Or am I thinking of IQ?
Bob Schmahl

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Dec 9, 2012
If Bachmann had her way, that would be the average income of her constituents.

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