Democrats spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars in a futile bid to pick up longshot Senate seats in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Texas.
The campaigns of Kentucky’s Amy McGrath, South Carolina’s Jaime Harrison, and Texas’s M.J. Hegar burned through nearly $200 million, and outside groups backing them spent an additional $60 million boosting the three candidates.
The figure dwarfs the total amount spent in the 1996 presidential race—Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, and Ross Perot combined to spend less than $240 million. The influx of cash, however, failed to woo voters, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), and Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) each won their races by double digits.
The money could have been put to use in North Carolina. Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham—who spent less than $47 million on his race as of October 14—trailed Sen. Thom Tillis (R.) by less than 100,000 votes late Tuesday evening.