This is a big week in politics as the elections in Georgia could decide the power in the Senate – and it looks like a lot of money and influence is being directed at the Peach State.
According to AdImpact, Georgia Senate candidates and outside groups have spent $480 million dollars on advertising.
The idea is that with the Senate majority hanging in the balance -- no check is too big.
Business Insider reports campaign spending in the United States has skyrocketed during the last decade and it continued to break records in 2020, with nine of the 10 most expensive Senate races of all time, according to OpenSecrets.
A tight election in November forced a runoff for both of Georgia’s Senate seats. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are the republican incumbents, up against democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in races that have major national implications.
If both democrats win, it will flip the Senate to blue and give Democrats control of the executive and legislative branches of government.
The $480 million dollars spent on ad placement since election day doesn’t even factor in the other costs that go into a political campaign.
These numbers dwarf what’s spent on politics in other democracies.
For reference, political parties in Canada were capped at spending $29 million last year, according to CBC.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that political spending was protected as a form of free speech, meaning corporations and other outside groups could spend as much money as they wanted as long as they didn’t coordinate with campaigns.
In Georgia, only about half of the spending on ads is coming from the candidates themselves.
The rest of the money is pouring in from groups across the country.