ADVISORY: Out-of-State Spending Could Decide Swing Senate Races

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WHAT: On Monday, October 24, U.S. PIRG Education Fund will release Outside Influence: Out-of-State Money in the 2016 Senate Elections, a report examining out-of-state money funneled into the 2016 senate races. Findings highlight the share of money that candidates, PACs, super PACs, and party committees have raised from out-of-state, with a focus on money in swing elections which could decide party control of the Senate.

WHO: U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WHEN: Monday, October 24

REPORT BACKGROUND: Control of the Senate is at play in the 2016 elections. Out of 34 senate races nationally, the outcome could be decided by several swing states and a few key constituencies. But there’s another deciding factor in this year’s race for the senate: money. Big donors are weighing in, often pouring contributions into elections held in states where they don’t reside.

This study will use candidate and committee filings with the Federal Election Commission to examine what portion of money in this year’s senate races was raised from out-of-state sources.

ISSUE BACKGROUND: Outside Influence is being published in an election year where Americans have made money in politics a top national concern. Seventy-eight percent of Americans, including a wide majority of both Republicans and Democrats believe that Citizens United should be overturned. Polling also shows that a large majority Americans believe that fundamental changes are needed in our campaign finance system to empower voters over large donors and special interests.

With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer Americans meaningful opportunities for civic participation.