The Washington Post

7 things Eric Cantor spent more on than David Brat spent on his entire campaign

This post has been updated.

This bit of trivia --  from The New York Timesreport on the race --concerning the upset victory of Dave Brat (R-Va.) over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday grabbed a lot of people: "Since the beginning of last year, Mr. Cantor’s campaign had spent about $168,637 at steakhouses compared with the $200,000 his challenger, David Brat, had spent on his entire campaign."

Which is remarkable. But it's only one small data point in what was a massively financially-unbalanced race.

Lawn signs, rarely a good spending decision. (EPA/JIM LO SCALZO)

We looked at the FEC filings for the two candidates to demonstrate the difference in campaign infrastructure between a member of a party's leadership in Congress and a poorly-funded challenger.

Through May 21, Cantor's campaign had spent $4,867,298 since January 2013, the beginning of the cycle. By that same date, Brat had spent $122,792 — about one-fortieth of Cantor's total. (The Times' $200,000 figure likely referred to how much Brat had raised.) Brat hasn't yet filed a detailed articulation of how he spent his money, but Cantor has, repeatedly. Looking only at what Cantor's campaign committee spent in 2013 (for which data is available in an easily readable format), we can compare his spending in various categories versus the entirety of Brat's outlay.

And so:

The red is Cantor's spending in various categories. Not all categories, mind you, just the ones where he spent $50,000 or more last year. The green is everything Brat had spent by May 21. Cantor spent more in 2013 on payroll, on fundraising consultants, on airfare than Brat spent at all. (In fact, Cantor has two categories for airfare, as you can see above.)

None of the red bars above include Cantor spending in 2014. If you'd like, you can read his two filings for 2014 at the FEC website. In total, they list an additional 287 pages of checks that the campaign wrote. Through May 21. Anyway, you get the point.

Tea party challenger David Brat defeated the second-ranking Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). So, who is David Brat? Here he is, in his own words. (Jackie Kucinich/The Washington Post)
Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He is based in New York City.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Jaime Fuller · June 11, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.