(NewsNation) — With now roughly three weeks until Election Day, the 2022 campaign trail has already proven to be one of the most expensive, as campaigns and outside groups have already spent more than a billion dollars.
“In terms of the midterms, the money being spent just continues to go up,” Taylor Giorno, a money and politics reporter at Open Secrets said to NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday.
Open Secrets tracks money in U.S. politics. Giorno said her team is already seeing over $1.4 billion spent by outside groups and in the next 20 or so days, it could exceed $2.2 billion.
“What does that tell you about this midterm season? It tells you that there’s a lot at stake,” Giorno said.
Giorno also said money from outside groups is pouring in the battle for Congress and key Senate races across the U.S., like in the Pennsylvania race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman.
Money also poured into Georgia, where a contentious fight between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker took center stage.
It’s not just outside groups: Big campaigns are raising big money.
For example, Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams have raised more than $145 million combined in Georgia, while the Texas Governor’s race has topped more than $100 million.
Giorno goes on to say it is not a coincidence that the most the most-watched races also turn out to be some of the most expensive: “Those are the races that are likely going to determine control of Congress for the next two years.”
While some of these donations do come in from everyday voters, a lot are coming from big-name donors,
like Nike’s co-owner, who donated $1 million to a GOP candidate in Oregon’s governor’s race.
While there’s been a Democrat in office that past 40 years, politics reporter Mychael Schnell says the huge cash infusion can change things
“This race is close. Oregon races is really becoming really tight in in the final,” she said.
Those donated dollars are then turned into mailers and tv ads — anything to get the message out when, for some campaigns, the stakes could not be higher.