July 25, 2016

IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Large Money Gap, Few Dark Money Contributions So Far In Grassley-Judge Senate Race

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Money

Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

A big money gap marked the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and his Democrat challenger Patty Judge, according to the latest campaign disclosure reports available earlier this week at the time of production. Grassley’s campaign had $5.2 million on hand back in May, 22 times more than Judge, who had $229,000 as of June 30. Add to that $59,300 in bills that Judge’s campaign owed at that time.

A lot of people have been watching these numbers, including Robert Maguire, political nonprofits editor of the campaign finance watchdog news organization, OpenSecrets.org.

“It’s a state where there is a contentious Senate race, where the side who holds the reign of Congress, and particularly of the Senate, is in the balance with Chuck Grassley’s race as well as a few other races around the country. So there’s going to be a large amount of attention, a large amount of money, and wherever there’s money we’re interested,” Maguire said.

So far, the campaign has seen little dark money, which is the controversial and usually unaccountable money given to non-profit organizations that are not limited in how much they spend on political campaigns and can keep donors secret. But Maguire said more might be coming as the election grows closer.

“We don’t necessarily know who is going to be active in the Senate race right now because so much of it comes so late. They want to focus that on the last days before the voters go to the polls,” he said.

Listen to the podcast above to learn more.

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