Campaign cash: Who's spending the most on the midterms

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out swinging last week. The country's largest business association spent more than $12 million, most of it attacking Democrats. The Chamber's spending includes about $2 million in ads thanking some Democratic House lawmakers for their vote against the health-care law pushed by the party's leadership. The Chamber has now disclosed spending $20 million this year, more than the Democrats' House and Senate campaign committees. The National Rifle Association dropped its first major expenditures of the general election in six Senate contests, with more than $1 million in Missouri and lesser amounts in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin and Washington. Spending by the parties and interest groups favors Republicans in the top Senate races, but Democrats were getting more help in the top two most expensive House races last week. In New Mexico, Rep. Harry Teague has benefited from $460,000 in spending by the Defenders of Wildlife. In Arizona, the National Education Association spent $650,000 on Rep. Harry Mitchell's race. Overall, spending is not favoring Republicans as much as it has in recent weeks. Democratic-aligned groups with smaller budgets may have waited to go on the airwaves with advertising so they could stay on through Election Day. Of the $54 million disclosed last week, $32 million favored Republicans and $22 million favored Democrats. -- T.W. Farnam

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