Indiana U.S. Senate election one of 2018's most expensive races
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — the Hoosier State’s U.S. Senate showdown is turning ugly and expensive.
Candidates are continuing to spend more on attack ads as the final days of this primary race draw near.
The ads haven’t let up which means neither has spending.
In one week, voters will choose a Republican nominee to take on Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly in the fall, while the other two will have to decide if their unsuccessful bids were literally worth it.
“Nothing is a mistake in a multi-million dollar race like this,” said Elizabeth Bennion, a political science professor at IUSB.
When it comes to funding these expensive campaigns in this primary showdown, Mike Braun decided to do it himself.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Braun brought in more than $5.9 million with $5.4 million coming from his own pockets.
“Self-funding is a great luxury if you have the money and no candidate I know wouldn’t want to have deep pockets to rely on,” said Rick Klein, ABC News political director. “But if that is all you’re doing you’re sacrificing the opportunity to get people engaged to actually win an election.”
Luke Messer has raised the second most money in this primary, bringing in $2.9 million so far.
According to his donation receipts, his biggest individual contribution from a supporter was $27,000 but it appears he also effectively targeted grassroots fundraising.
He got more than 300 supporters to contribute smaller donations of $250 or less.
Meanwhile, Todd Rokita’s campaign is closely behind.
He has raised $2.6 million so far.
And while just about 160 people sent smaller sums up to $250, he got bigger backing in large donations including one of $54,000.
But that’s just the Republicans in this election.
On the blue side, Donnelly has raised more than $7 million and has only spent $1.4 million ahead of the primary.
According to the FEC, Donnelly ranks 18th in the top 50 fundraising U.S. Senate campaigns for the 2018 midterms.
Braun came in at 34, Rokita is number 42 and Messer rounded the list at number 47.
“Well when you look at the Senate map there just aren’t that many states where you’ve got an opportunity for a party flip and that’s why you see intense interest,” said Klein. “And I think on the Republican side you got a lot of ambitious politicians and two sitting members of congress who see an opportunity to take out a Democrat.”
In terms of individual spenders, Braun ranks third by the FEC for his self-funded campaign.