Kratovil-Harris race nears top of spending list
The down-to-the-wire rematch between Frank Kratovil and Andy Harris for Maryland's easternmost congressional seat is now one of the ten most expensive House races in the nation, in terms of spending by outside groups.
With less than a week until Election Day, more than $3.75 million has been pumped into the contest, according to Federal Election Commission figures. The latest cash infusion: $348,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on behalf of Kratovil, the endangered Democratic incumbent.
That brings the DCCC's total investment in Kratovil to nearly $1.5 million. Over the last week, however, the Republican Party's House campaign arm has put even more into the race on behalf of their candidate, Harris.
As residents of the district know all too well, virtually all of those dollars have been used to pay for attack ads on TV and radio.
According to the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, the Maryland contest has attracted the ninth largest amount of outside spending among 435 House districts across the country.
Nationwide, total outside spending in the 2010 midterm elections for the House and Senate now tops $400 million, Sunlight reported.
A recent Sun poll showed the Kratovil-Harris race dead even.
The money from the national parties and outside groups is in addition to dollars raised and spent by the candidates themselves.
Kratovil had collected over $2.3 million and Harris picked up a total of more than $2 million as of mid-October, FEC figures show. And the money chase isn't over yet.
Vice President Joe Biden will help fatten Kratovil's account today, when he headlines a fundraiser in Bethesda for the Eastern Shore congressman.
The race in the First District, which spans the Chesapeake Bay to take in portions of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties and the entire Eastern Shore, is already among the most expensive House contests in Maryland history. Total spending has already topped $8 million and could go significantly higher before the final numbers are reported.