How much does it cost to elect one member of the US House of Representatives?

This week, Jon Ossoff for the Democrats and Karen Handel for the Republicans faced each other in an electoral contest in what became the most expensive House of Representatives race in history. The candidates, their parties and super Political Action Committees (PACs) poured more than $50 million (£39 million) combined into the effort to win a single House seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs of the state of Georgia (the state’s sixth congressional district).

Of that sum, more than $40 million was spent on television and radio advertising alone, smashing past House election records. Just think how much good one could do for poor Americans in Atlanta with $50 million. This race just underlines that effectively there are no limits on expenditure in American political campaigns. In the UK, political candidates and parties cannot buy broadcasting time.

So who won? It was a much closer race than the 20-plus percentage point wins typically posted by former Representative Tom Price whose departure to become Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary created the vacancy. Republican Handel defeated Democrat Ossoff by just 51.9% to 48.1%.

More information here.


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