Nevada, Colorado Attract Most Outside Election Spending

Per capita, voters in these states received the most attention from PACs and other groups.

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This election cycle, organizations including party committees, PACs, and special interest groups spent record amounts on getting eligible voters to the polls. Large states that featured Senate contests and a large number of House races, like California, Florida, and New York, naturally saw high spending totals on campaign advertising and other advocacy efforts. But in states like Colorado, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, these non-candidate groups spent even larger sums of money to influence fewer voters' choices. The Senate races between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sharron Angle in Nevada, Sen. Michael Bennet and Ken Buck in Colorado, and Gov. Joe Manchin and John Raese in West Virginia helped to drive up spending totals in their respective states. Altogether, outside organizations spent $2.14 per eligible voter on communicating with the electorate in the 2010 election cycle, but voters in the ten states listed below received the most attention.

State    Spending Per Eligible Voter
 Nevada     $14.32
 Colorado     12.01
 West Virginia     11.04
 New Hampshire     10.92
 Arkansas      7.93
 Alaska     7.12
 North Dakota     5.84
 Washington     5.39
 Pennsylvania     4.92
 South Dakota     4.75

Spending data reflects independent expenditures and electioneering communications and was obtained from the FEC on November 4, 2010. Eligible voter population courtesy of George Mason University's United States Election Project.