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Huge Primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina

Pennsylvania’s US Senate race is stupid expensive

Pennsylvania Republican Senate Candidate Mehmet Oz

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The government of Erie, Pennsylvania, population 94,831, forecasts that it’ll bring in about $95.7 million worth of revenue during 2022.

Pennsylvania’s US Senate race, meanwhile, is on pace to bring in twice that — maybe even more — en route to competing for the crown of the year’s most expensive political race.

As of April 27, the race had already attracted more than $68.3 million in contributions, according to federal records compiled by nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets.

There are two overriding reasons for this. 

First, both the Republican and Democratic primaries are highly competitive. They feature multiple candidates — David McCormick, Mehmet Oz and Kathy Barnette on the right, John Fetterman and Conor Lamb on the left. More candidates + more competition = more, more, more money.

Second, McCormick and Oz are extremely wealthy. Both have pumped millions of dollars of their personal money into the race, with Oz alone accounting for more than $12 million, according to Federal Election Commission records. McCormick, at $11 million, isn’t far behind.

Tonight’s winners will then have nearly six months to slug each other ahead of November’s general election. National party committees and super PACs, which may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, will almost assuredly supplement the candidates’ own fundraising efforts with tens of millions of more dollars.

— Dave Levinthal

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