Election cost sets record for a congressional midterm cycle

Republicans and Democrats battled for control of the U.S. House of Representatives, making this the most expensive congressional elections in U.S. history.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that candidates, political parties and outside groups spent more than $5.2 billion on House and Senate contests combined. Researchers found “the Democratic share of spending for the House swelled to 60 percent this year, from 44 percent in 2014, the previous midterm elections.”

Reuters analysis of Federal Election Commission data found Democrats and their allies in the 10 costliest House races spent $142 million to Republicans' $96 million.

For months it’s been all election advertising, all the time—TV, texts, robocalls, door-to-door pamphlets, social media, yard signs, bumper stickers and snail mail flyers.

In Houston, Woreman principal Cleve Tuttle said candidates got more bang for their buck on social media campaign advertising for production costs and distribution.

"You're more likely to trust that culture, than you are someone just sneaking into a media outlet, like TV," said Tuttle.

He said social media campaign advertising is more embedded, unlike the in your face broadcast and print advertising.

Tuttle said most of Beto O’Rourke's more than $37 million raised was spent on campaigning on social media.

"You get some more buying power in the social media platforms because it's less expensive. In social media, there seems like there's more avenues to get it out there," said Tuttle.

He added that social media platform is cheaper than traditional media to do campaign advertising and it's much easier to produce.

He said campaigning for the mid-terms has drawn more advertising dollars than the Superbowl, because politics effects everyone, as opposed to a sporting event that attracts only a segment of people.

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