Money drives politics, but it’s often hard to understand.
With contributions to candidates and PACs in the hundreds of millions, it’s easy for political insiders to throw around big numbers to intimidate citizens. Without context, all those commas and zeros are next-to-impossible to interpret meaningfully.
Most people don’t have time to dig into reports on a government website to find out if a certain representative or local newspaper is telling the truth. (But if you ever do want to comb through the data for yourself, here’s a great place to start.)
That’s why today, and for the next three weeks, we’re going to break down the money that flowed through the most recent Texas elections.
These are the raw numbers this election season:*
|Contributions to Texas Candidates and PACs|
|Total given to candidates||$177,594,009.90|
|Total give to PACs||$165,604,085.89|
|Total given in the Primary Election||$153,455,073.75|
|Total given in the General Election||$189,743,022.04|
|Total number of contributions||1,425,096|
|Expenditures by Texas Candidates and PACs|
|Total spent by candidates||$252,239,601.00|
|Total spent by PACs||$197,251,180.87|
|Total number of expenditures||266,535|
That’s A LOT of money. In fact, it’s a record amount of money spent in Texas in a year without a presidential election. But is it too much? Are elections “too expensive”? Who is giving all that money, and more importantly, what do they want?
Join us these next three weeks as we put the numbers and the players into context:
Join us as we make it easy for you to get the answers you need about the money in Texas politics.
*These numbers include all transactions from August, 20, 2017 (after the end of the Special Session) to October 27, 2018 (the end date for the most recent reports on file with the Texas Ethics Commission).
Our Race to Raise series takes a deeper look at the most high-profile races of the election cycle, focusing specifically on money raised by those seeking to serve in public office. Stay tuned for the next installment, introducing the Top Ten Donors this Texas election cycle. Subscribe here if you want the breakdown to come straight to your inbox.