Spin Control

Self-financed campaigns faltered

Trying to buy an election by self-financing a campaign is a bad investment, a study from the Center for Responsive Politics says.

Only about one  in five candidates who poured a half-million dollars or more into their own campaigns came out a winner last week. If they spent more than $3.5 million, the odds got worse, to one in seven. Some spent seven figures and ended up with zip.

Among them:

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who spent $141.5 million of her own money and lost to Jerry Brown.

Linda McMahon, who poured $46.6 million on a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. It should be noted that her opponent, Richard Blumenthal, spent $2.2 million of his own money into the race.

Carly Fiorino, who spent $5.5 million of her money in a run against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Jeff Greene, who spent $24 million of his money and lost Florida's Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat to Kendrick Meek, who in turn finished third in the Senate race last week.


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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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