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Report: $40 million spent in Michigan's 2016 Congressional races

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report finds roughly $40 million was spent on Michigan’s 14 Congressional races in 2016.  $9.4 million was spent in just one Michigan Congressional race, the battle for the formally vacant seat representing the U.P. and northern Michigan.

“That’s a large sum of money considering the fact that really none of these 14 Congressional races were that close in Michigan in 2016,” says Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.  

About 17% of the money spent on Michigan’s Congressional races in 2016 came from independent groups who spent heavily on TV ads and other media to influence voters.

Mauger expects even more will be spent in 2018 when Democrats will try again to win more seats in Congress.

“In 2018, some of these races are probably going to be more competitive, because they can’t get much less competitive than they were in 2016,” says Mauger.

2018 will be a crowded election year, with Michigan voters casting ballots for a U.S. Senator, Michigan governor, legislative seats, local offices, statewide ballot questions, as well as all 14 Congressional seats.

Despite the crowded field of races, Mauger expects campaign donations will flow into Michigan’s Congressional races from out of state again.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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