'Arizona Election Show': What you need to know about money in politics

In this episode of the "Arizona Election Show" we examine big money in politics.

Winning public office, especially at the federal level, has gotten more expensive in recent election cycles. Arizona could set a record for outside spending in the state’s open Senate race this year.

Often the people bankrolling this torrent of political advertising are identified in campaign finance records for those willing to look through them. In some cases, the public can only wonder who is truly behind the ads bombarding their mailboxes, TVs and Web screens.

In 2012, the last time Arizona had an open Senate seat, outside groups spent $23 million trying to influence that race. Most of that spending happened in the last three weeks of the election.

A week after the August primary that year, outside groups had spent $19,000 in that race. By that time this year, outside groups had spent $2 million. 

It’s unclear how effective the outside money is in shaping the final votes, but there is little doubt that well-financed efforts to do just that will only intensify.

Originally posted and written by The Arizona Republic on 09/20/2018.

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