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A picture on $400m+ in political spending is worth more than a thousand words
This is a scatterplot comparing Super PAC spending by the core Democratic Party committees to the margin of victory for every US House race decided by fewer than 15 points in 2022.1
The vertical axis is how much was spent on the races — points on the bottom line received $0 in support from the party committees, points higher up received more in funding.
The horizontal axis represents the election result. Points to the left of the black bar represent a district won by Democrats; those to the right by Republicans.
WelcomePAC launched two years ago this month. We have since said many words about inefficiency in the political marketplace. We’ve released reports calling attention to how we are “Conceding Democracy” and allowing for “democracy deserts” to persist without investment. We’ve highlighted these findings on this Substack, and in publications like NBC News, Slate, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, CNN, and beyond.
But the chart shows more than we could say with words.
This inefficiency is not the fault of any organization or individual. It is a market failure. Each individual political organization acts rationally in response to incentives.
But the aggregate result is wildly irrational and inefficient.
What does this chart tell you? What should be done about it?
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The chart compares aggregate independent expenditure spending by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the House Majority PAC (HMP) with the GOP margin of victory in every House race decided by 15 points or less. Spend data sourced from The Daily Kos and election margin data from The New York Times.