The total cost of 2022 midterm elections is projected to exceed $9.3 billion, according to an early, conservative estimate by OpenSecrets. More than $4.8 billion has already been spent on 2022 midterms, setting federal election spending on track to surpass the inflation-adjusted 2018 midterm record of $7.1 billion.
“We’re seeing much more money, more candidates and more political division than we did in 2018,” said OpenSecrets Executive Director Sheila Krumholz. “Spending is surging across the board this midterm cycle, fueling a polarization vortex that shows no signs of slowing.”
That $4.8 billion figure includes spending disclosed to the Federal Election Commission by candidates, political parties, political action committees and other groups during the 2022 midterm election cycle as of Sept. 20, 2022. Total spending will likely jump in mid-October, as most third-quarter filings are not due to the FEC until Oct. 15, the first disclosure deadline for most federal candidates since mid-year disclosures were filed.
While OpenSecrets’ $9.3 billion estimate is slightly less than the $9.9 billion – adjusted for inflation – spent on U.S. congressional races in the 2020 election cycle, 2022 election spending is on pace to exceed the $8 billion in inflation-adjusted spending on congressional and presidential races during the 2016 election cycle.