Wall Street Journal: It’s Shocking How Little Was Spent on the Midterms (In the News)

By JOHN R. LOTT JR. And  BRADLEY A. SMITH

Many who express the most outrage about campaign expenditures—liberal interest groups such as Public Citizen, or politicians such as Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi —frequently are cheerleaders for the even faster growth in government spending. If they want less spent on campaigns, then put less at stake: Make government smaller.
In reality, campaign expenditures are surprisingly small given how much power and influence is up for grabs. The money spent on this year’s midterm elections is less than 0.1% of the nearly $4 trillion in federal spending—one dollar in campaign spending, in other words, for every thousand dollars in federal expenditure.
By comparison, a single private company, Procter & Gamble , spent nearly a third more on advertising in 2013—$4.9 billion—than all political campaigns combined for federal offices spent in the current two-year election cycle. General Motorscame closer to spending as much, with $3.1 billion.