Home USA News #4ThePeople: Murray, Smiley; together spent more than $36 million during the...

#4ThePeople: Murray, Smiley; together spent more than $36 million during the campaign


SPOKANE, Wash. – With five days to go before election night, the race for the U.S. Senate is heating up. Tiffany Smiley and incumbent Sen. Patty Murray continue to campaign, with both candidates hoping to increase voter turnout and sway undecided voters as polls show the race is tightening.

Neither candidate is afraid to break the bank.

As a rule, the candidate who spent more funds is the winner; in the election season, the talk is about money.

“There’s a lot of truth to that,” said Dr. Aaron Heitfield, a Whitworth University associate professor with a Ph.D. in public affairs. His focus is on the congressional elections. “You have to raise a lot of money, and usually you have to raise the most money.”

Both candidates take this to heart. Senator Murray spent more than $21 million, more than double the amount spent during the 2016 election. Smiley’s campaign spent $15 million, nearly 10 times the amount spent by GOP challenger Murray in 2016.

Neither amount includes millions of dollars in PAC spending.

Although Dr. Heitfield says the biggest difference is how you spend that money, as well as which voters you target.

He says candidates should stay away from trying to convert voters away from their opposition parties and instead focus on party turnout. He says this is where Senator Murray excelled.

“The Murray campaign is doing a better job of mobilizing Democratic voters,” Dr. Heitfield said. “Their campaign ads really emphasize the need to get out and vote.”

He noted that Smiley’s ads take a different approach.

“They’re trying to primarily attract voters, and that’s not such an effective campaign strategy.”

Although the fact that Smiley is a new face in Washington, combined with her active engagement with constituents, propelled her to Senator Murray.

Both candidates continue to travel around Washington campaigning until Election Day. Smiley was in Spokane Valley Thursday morning, meeting with constituents and reaffirming her commitment to challenging big government and fighting inflation.

Senator Murray spent time in western Washington discussing gun control policy as well as her plans to lower the cost of child care in America.

READ: #4ThePeople: Pay attention to your signature to make sure your ballot is not contested

READ: #4ThePeople: The race for the US Senate is heating up in Washington

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